Friday, April 29, 2011

Russia, Sweden Space Cooperation

Russia and Sweden agreed on Wednesday to improve cooperation in the space industry, including their intention to launch Swedish satellites using Russian carrier rockets.

The two countries signed a relevant declaration during Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to Stockholm.

The sides also agreed to jointly use ground facilities to gather information for operating their own orbital objects and those of third countries.

Sweden and Russia will also cooperate within a Russian space research project to monitor the Earth's polar regions. The project envisions using a new satellite cluster, called Arktika, to provide environmental monitoring data for accurate weather forecasts and to aid national socio-economic development.

The system is scheduled to begin operating in 2015. The cost of the project is estimated at 30 billion rubles ($1.23 billion).

Putin also invited Sweden to increase its cooperation with Russia on its Glonass satellite navigation system, Russia's answer to the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, which is designed for both military and civilian uses.

Russia currently has 22 fully-operational Glonass satellites in orbit. The complete Glonass grouping must have 24 operational and 2-3 reserve satellites for the Glonass network to operate with global coverage. Putin said the number of Glonass satellites in orbit would be increased by 29 or 30 in the near future.

Russia will also study the Swedish experience in the creation of its SWEPOS satellite navigation system, which uses the Glonass signal.

Sweden will share with Russia its experience in the creation of a common emergency call center. Russia is currently introducing its own emergency call service similar to the United States' 911 telephone line.

Russia and Sweden have also cooperated in the introduction of broadband internet and 3G and 4G mobile telecommunications in Russia.


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