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Russia, China expand cooperation on satellite navigation

June 03, 2014, 17:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia expects an agreement with China, which will allow the countries to build three ground operational stations on each other’s territories
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©  ITAR-TASS/Yuri Smityuk

MOSCOW, June 3. /ITAR-TASS/. China plans to complete the development of its national navigation satellite system BeiDou ahead of schedule - by 2017, and not in 2020 as it was previously announced, the Central Research Machinebuilding Institute of the Russian Space Agency said Tuesday.

As far as Russian satellite navigation is concerned, a second GLONASS K1 satellite will be launched before the end of this year, and the first satellite of the K2 generation, aimed for the transmission of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) signals, is now in the production phase.

Meanwhile, American GPS and European Galileo navigation systems still experience delays in launch and modernization, researchers say. The launch of the first American GPS III satellite will not occur until 2016, while the completion of the next-generation operational control segment (OCX) is now slated for 2017, a couple of years later than originally planned. The earliest launches of Galileo satellites are to be expected in August, November and December this year. In all, Galileo, which was elaborated by the EU and European Space Agency, should embark 30 satellites by 2016.

China launched its regional positioning BeiDou system in 2012. It requires 35 satellites in total. BeiDou frequency bands do not correlate with those of American and French systems. Therefore, China foresees good prospects for cooperation with Russia’s GLONASS on regional support and chipsets development, which actually means working on mutual navigation compatibility.

Russia expects an agreement with China, which will allow the countries to build three ground operational stations on each other’s territories, for GLONASS needs to place satellites on three orbits, as every single satellite has its own frequency. At the moment the system includes 24 operating satellites and four more on standby.

At the same time Russia has suspended the operation of all 11 GPS stations on its territory since June 1 due to poor progress in Russia-US talks over the construction of Russian ground stations in the United States. This is a disadvantage for the Pentagon GPS, for some billion people around the world are using the system and it requires 24 single-frequency satellites in six orbits.

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