MOSCOW, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian government has approved an agreement with Cuba on cooperation in exploration and use of outer space. A specific bill was passed for ratification to the Federal Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament.The document “meets Russian interests, including the need to place the GLONASS System of Differential Correction and Monitoring (SDCM) stations,” the Cabinet’s press service said on Wednesday. The bill also outlines parameters of bilateral relations in space activity and protection of intellectual property rights.
Russia and Cuba have signed a framework intergovernmental agreement on space cooperation during Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Havana in February.
GLONASS is a Russia-made global navigation satellite system. Satellites on three orbits and SDCMs are needed for its operation to receive signals and make measurements in Russia. The GLONASS satellite grouping consists of 24 satellites in routine operation and four satellites in orbital backup. By 2020 the GLONASS signal accuracy will be heightened to 60 centimeters instead of current 2.8 meters. Deployment of the SDCM station in Cuba should allow compensating mainly for US reluctance to install SDCMs in the country.
“GLONASS system capabilities will be increased thanks to its space and ground components,” JSC Russian Space Systems head Gennady Raikunov told ITAR-TASS earlier, noting that “However, for a more accurate GLONASS global positioning its stations should be located all over the world. If we succeed to create a common navigation resource, positioning accuracy will be increased to several millimeters.”
Russia has immediate plans to deploy GLONASS stations in Brazil and China along with Cuba and negotiate deployment of these facilities in the United States until August 31.