Russian global satellite navigation system close to full commissioning
Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) is to be completely operational in Russia until the end of 2007, President Putin promised at his recent meeting with the scientists of Belgorod State University.
Responding to the statement, the university's Rector Dmitry Dyatchenko told Putin that GLONASS would be, among other fields, quite instrumental for the technology of ecological monitoring developed by the local scientists. The technology enables evaluation of the impact of the human economic activity on the environment. So far, the country has been using the US GPS satellites and it is high time to switch to the national GLONASS global positioning system, underlined Dmitry Dyatchenko.
Earlier President Putin charged the engineers who have developed GLONASS with the task to create a system meeting the most stringent quality standards to become a competitor to the American NAVSTAR.
GLONASS is used for defining position and movement rate of land, airborne and seaborne objects, people including, with one-meter accuracy.
The first GLONASS satellite was launched on 12 October 1982. By the end of 2007 Russia plans to have the system operational with 18 satellites covering all of the country. A complete constellation of 24 satellites with full global coverage is planned by 2009.
The federal budget 2007 will cover extra RUB1.8 billion spent to implement the GLONASS program.
GLONASS should be compatible with the analogous global satellite navigation system GALILEO. The "Law on use of the global orbiting navigation satellite system GLONASS in the interests of the social and economic development of the Russian Federation" stipulates that access to the civil navigational signals of the system will be granted to users on a free of charge basis and without restrictions.