Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Satellites
Russian PNT Satellites (GLONASS)
For 2018, Russia maintained its 2017 number of operational GLONASS PNT satellites, ##; these satellites…
Russia’s share of operational PNT satellites increased from ##% in 2016 to ##% in 2017. Operating the Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), the nation was tied with…
Although Russia increased the overall number of its Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) satellites, the number of operational GLONASS satellites decreased by ## during 2016. The country’s share of the world’s operational PNT satellites shrank to ##% in 2016, falling behind…
Russia has recently committed to upgrading its Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) to full operational capacity of ## operational satellites by late 2009. The GLONASS system, once set to rival the U.S. GPS system, saw its number of operational satellites fall from ## in 1995 to seven in 2001 due to financial difficulties and the relatively short lifetimes of the individual satellites. In 2007, Russia launched ## GLONASS-M platforms and began operating ## additional satellites that had been launched in late December 2006.
Russia launched ## GLONASS satellites in 2014, maintaining a constellation of ## operational satellites. Russia also faced some challenges with GLONASS during 2014. On April 1, GLONASS satellites transmitted messages that reported the satellites’ positions with an error of around 200 kilometers (124 miles). The problem was resolved after about 11 hours, and although the outage did not seem to have major negative impacts on businesses relying on PNT services, some organizations are learning from the problems GLONASS faced and are moving toward systems using more than one PNT constellation.
The Global Navigation Satellite System, or GLONASS, is the Russian equivalent of the U.S. GPS and is designed for both military and civilian use. The network became operational in 1995, but declined during Russia’s economic downturn and is in the process of being reconstituted. In 2008, the system added ## additional satellites to expand the constellation to ##. However, GLONASS signals are encoded in such a way that equipment manufacturers cannot easily incorporate them into user terminals compatible with GPS or some of the newer global navigation satellite systems coming on line.
After a 15-year hiatus, Russia’s GLONASS PNT system returned to fully operational status in 2011, re-establishing full global coverage. The GLONASS constellation was started by the Soviet Union in 1982 and was briefly operational in 1996 after its ## satellite was deployed. However, due in part to the Russian financial crisis in the 1990s, funding to maintain the network evaporated and it fell into disrepair. Without replacements, the fleet had only ## functioning satellites by 2002.
The second global PNT system to become operational was Russia’s GLONASS constellation, which was started by the Soviet Union in 1976, and was briefly operational in 1996 after the deployment of its ## satellite. However, during the Russian financial crisis of the 1990s, program funding evaporated, and GLONASS fell into disrepair as satellites reached the end of their design life and were not replaced. In 2001, President Vladimir Putin ordered a 10-year, $## billion modernization program of GLONASS, resulting in an upgrade and replenishment of the satellite constellation, which was completed in 2011.
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As of December 2015, Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), comprised ##% of the operational global PNT constellations. Like the U.S. GPS milestone, 2015 marked the 20th anniversary of Russia’s deployment of GLONASS. The initial full deployment of ## GLONASS satellites occurred in 1995. Completion of testing activities allowed the Russians to consider GLONASS fully operational in early 1996.