GLONASS Constellation Nears Readiness

The Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov has confirmed that the country's GLONASS system will have 100% global availability before the end of 2010. The news follows the launch of three new satellites during March 2010, bringing the GLONASS constellation up to 19 operational satellites of the 24 required for full service.

GLONASS, or Global'naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (literally Global Navigation Satellite System) had fallen into severe disrepair after the fall of the USSR, at one point with only eight satellites operational. Two further launches are planned during 2010, bringing the total number of working satellites to 24, with three in reserve.

The Russian Institute of Space Device Engineering has revealed that it is close to completing a co-ordination plan that will see eight different CDMA signals on four frequencies. The first of these will be the existing GLONASS L3 frequency, with an open signal centred at 1201.743MHz and an encrypted signal at 1208.088MHz. The additional CDMA signals will be introduced at the new L1, L2 and L5 GLONASS frequencies.

Several manufacturers have begun production programmes for GPS plus GLONASS Multi-GNSS receiver chips and modules. OEMs intending to integrate these devices can test them ahead of the final launches using Spirent Constellation Simulators which can be configured for GPS, GLONASS and Galileo capability.

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