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Russia's Glonass global positioning system should reach the same precision level as the U.S. GPS by 2011
A senior space official said Thursday Russia's Glonass global positioning system should reach the same precision level as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) by 2011. Glonass is designed for both military and civilian use, allowing users to identify their positions in real time. A deputy director of the Federal Space Agency, Yury Nosenko, speaking at a news conference with top designers of Glonass in the Moscow Region, said: "Our aim is to improve the precision of the Glonass system's operations for civilian users down to one meter by 2011. The American GPS system is already working at this precision level." When the improved Glonass-K satellites with a 10-year service life are complete, the system will be as good as GPS, and users will be able to use both systems, Nosenko said. A total of $380 million in 2007 federal budget funds was allocated for Glonass, compared to last year's $181 million. The first launch under the Glonass program took place October 12, 1982, but the system was only formally launched on September 24, 1993. The satellites currently in use are of two modifications - Glonass and its updated version Glonass-M. The latter has a longer service life of seven years and is equipped with updated antenna feeder systems and an additional navigation frequency for civilian users. Nikolai Testoyedov, the head of NPO Reshetnev, a state-controlled company that builds satellites for Glonass, told the news conference that six Glonass-M satellites will be put into orbit by Proton carrier rockets by the end of 2007. Another six satellites will be added to the Glonass system in 2008, and the first two improved Glonass-K satellites will be launched in 2009. The future modification, Glonass-K, is an entirely new model based on a non-pressurized platform, standardized to the specifications of the previous models' platform, Express-1000.
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