Headlines > News > Glonass to provide global coverage this year - top official

Glonass to provide global coverage this year - top official

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:12 am via: RIA Novosti
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MOSCOW – Russia’s top space official confirmed on Monday Russia’s navigation system Glonass will cover 100% of the Earth’s surface by the end of the year.

“This year, I think, we will provide 100% coverage of the globe with the Glonass navigation system,” the head of the federal space agency Roscosmos, Anatoly Perminov, said.

“We will have 24 [operational] satellites in orbit and 3-4 spacecraft in the required orbital reserve,” he added.

Glonass – the Global Navigation Satellite System – is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian use. Both systems allow users to determine their positions to within a few meters.

The goal of Glonass project was to have global coverage by 1991. With the collapse of the Russian economy in the 1990s, work on the project was suspended. Beginning in 2001, Russia committed to restoring the Glonass system.

Russia currently has a total of 26 Glonass satellites in orbit, but two of them are not functional. The system requires 18 operational satellites for continuous navigation services covering the entire territory of Russia and at least 24 satellites to provide navigation services worldwide.

By mid-October, a total of 23 satellites are expected to be operational.

Copyright 2010 RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.

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