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Shutdown of US GPS Stations No Threat to Russian Satellite Projects

RIA Novosti

17:55 19/05/2014

MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow's decision to shut down 11 US GPS ground stations located on Russian territory will not affect the ERA-Glonass accident response project and other satellite services currently employing GPS signals, the national navigation services provider NIS Glonass said Monday.

The national navigation services provider is engaged in several large-scale projects in Russia, including satellite traffic control systems in big cities and two major rescue systems: the ERA-Glonass traffic accident response project and the System-112 emergency response system.

"NIS uses hardware suitable both for Glonass and GPS signals," the company said. "As satellite service providers, we will use the signal from the available [satellite navigation system] and make sure that the quality of the final product remains the same."

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said last Tuesday Russia intends to suspend the work of 11 ground-based facilities of the US Global Positioning System (GPS) throughout its territory starting from June 1 and shut them down beginning September 1.

The move came as a response to the US refusal to set up a signal correction station for Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System Glonass on US territory.

The Glonass network, which began operation in 1993, provides real-time positioning and speed data for surface, sea and airborne objects. Its accuracy is expected to be boosted to one meter (3 feet) when used within Russia by the end of the year. The Glonass network currently has 24 operational satellites, which is enough to provide global coverage, with the first overseas ground station launched in Brazil in February 2013.

Russia's full-scale plan for Glonass is to build 50 stations in several dozen countries across the globe. Last week, the Russian government approved bills to ratify space cooperation agreements with Nicaragua and Vietnam, which provide for the construction of Glonass stations.

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