Russia Plans to Install GLONASS Stations in More Countries

Moscow, April 11 (RIA Novosti) – Ground-based stations for Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) could be installed in several countries, including in Europe, but the current political situation is interfering with the process, a senior Russian space official told reporters Friday.

“It is currently difficult to say exactly when and where [stations could be installed]. We are ready to sign an agreement with one of the European countries,” said Sergey Saveliev, the deputy head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Saveliev, speaking in a video conference devoted to Astronautics Day, stressed the issue has been complicated by the current political situation.

“Another station is preparing for launch in Brazil, but its functional profile is slightly different. We are currently working on the relevant legal agreement,” Savelyev said.

A group of 28 GLONASS satellites is currently in orbit, with 24 in operation, three spares, and one in the test-flight phase, according to Roscosmos.

Saveliev’s comments came a day after Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin wrote on his Twitter account that Russia will open a GLONASS station in Crimea this year.

“Development of GLONASS and its augmentation and monitoring system requires the installation of a data-collection station in Crimea in 2014,” Rogozin wrote.

The Global Navigation Satellite System, which began operation in 1993, is a Russian equivalent of the US Global Positioning System (GPS). The GLONASS network provides real-time positioning and speed data for surface, sea and airborne objects with an accuracy of one meter (three feet).