MOSCOW, October 26 (Itar-Tass) — The GLONASS-M navigation satellite that soared aloft with a Soyuz-2.1b booster rocket from the Plesetsk cosmodrome on October 3 has been commissioned, an official at the JSC Information Satellite Systems-Reshetnev Company told Itar-Tass.
"On Tuesday, the satellite began to function. All systems perform as scheduled; the unit has begun dedicated operation," the company’s press service said.
As of October 26, 23 satellites in the GLONASS system are in dedicated use, one is at the stage of integrating in the system, two are undergoing maintenance and one is in reserve.
The Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) is based on a constellation of active satellites which continuously transmit coded signals in two frequency bands, which can be received by users anywhere on the Earth's surface to identify their position and velocity in real time based on ranging measurements. The system rivals the United States Global Positioning System (GPS), with both systems sharing the same principles in the data transmission and positioning methods.
GLONASS is also used by the military in the interests of Russia's security.
To provide continuous navigation signal in the whole territory of Russia, it needs at least 18 operating satellites, while 24 units will provide coverage worldwide.
The development of the GLONASS began in 1976. It was completed 1995 but then became rundown after the collapse of the Soviet economy. In 2001, Russia decided to restore the system.