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Russia to Test New Star Sensor for GLONASS

RIA Novosti

15:54 13/03/2013 MOSCOW, March 13 (RIA Novosti) - German firm Jena-Optronik GmbH has delivered an advanced star sensor to Russia's Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems company (ISS), which will test and integrate it on a GLONASS navigation satellite, Reshetnev said on Wednesday.

The Astro APS sensor, part of the satellite's altitude and orbit control system, will be installed on a GLONASS -M satellite under an agreement signed between Reshetnev ISS and Jena-Optronik GmbH in the summer of 2011.

The sensor will help ensure that the GLONASS satellites maintain an accurate attitude in space, vital to their role in providing navigation information to users on earth, scientists say.

The sensor features a single box design with minimized dimensions, low mass and low power consumption, Jena Optronik claims.

If tests of the new sensor are successful, it will be integrated on other ISS spacecraft, the Russian company said.

GLONASS is Russia’s answer to the US Global Positioning System, or GPS, and is designed for both military and civilian uses.

By 2020, Russia plans to have 30 GLONASS satellites in orbit, including six in reserve. Russia plans to launch 13 GLONASS -M satellites in 2012-2020 to support the orbital grouping, with 22 new-generation GLONASS-Ks set to replace outdated earlier models.

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