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Russia is working diligently to patch its GLOSNASS system, with launches from Kazakhstan. Very nice!

Russia's GLONASS system just got a boost with the launch of three new satellites aboard a Proton-K booster rocket, last Friday.  The satellites successfully reached low-earth orbit eight minutes after launch.

GLONASS, for the unfamiliar, is Russia's equivalent of the Global Positioning System  (GPS) commonly used in the U.S.  In English the words that make up the acronym roughly are translated to "Global Navigation Satellite System."

The European Union anticipates the success of a separate system, called the Galileo Network. However as reported by DailyTech, the system has yet to fully be implemented.

The technology developed during the Cold War went into operation in 1982, was completed in 1985, but fell into disrepair, following the collapse of Russia's communist regime.

Still the Russian government has been making legitimate attempts to restore the aging system, as reported on earlier this year at DailyTech.  The constellation initiated its first public broadcast of May this year.

The Indian government pledged support for the GLONASS system in 2004, but the country have yet to launch any satellites.

The U.S. and Russian governments have also been in talks about making the GPS and GLOSNASS networks interoperable and compatible.  The U.S. and European Union have struck a similar deal as well.

The satellite launch last week occurred, not in Russia, but in Kazakhstan, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.  Russia rents the facility and the right to launch from Kazakhstan, under a long term contract.

The launch was significant as it was the first Russian launch from the facility since September.  Kazakhstan had temporarily banned launches, following a failure in which the Russian launch of another Proton rocket ended in failure.  This failed launch sent the Proton booster, full of highly toxic heptyl fuel, plunging into the countryside by the industrial city of Zhezkazgan. 

The effects of this incident on the local populous have yet to be fully determined, but launches have resumed with extra precautions.  Russia has relied heavily on launches of GLOSNASS satellites from the Baikonur location, in its efforts to repair the network.


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Huh?
By sidhu663 on 11/4/2007 1:01:29 AM , Rating: 2
how much does this actually help the russian economy? Dont they have other things to worry about? correct me if im wrong




RE: Huh?
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 1:25:38 AM , Rating: 4
It's all about being able to look at America's GPS system and saying "I see your Schwartz is as big as mine."

I somehow doubt it's for the economy. If I had to guess, it'd be so they can wage war with their own system not reliant on our GPS or their own radio navigation systems, whatever their equivalent to a VORTAC is.


RE: Huh?
By wordsworm on 11/4/2007 1:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I somehow doubt it's for the economy.
Let's all remember George Bush II for what he was: an economics super hero. Aside from that, I'm sure that Iran will pay Russia handsomely for the use of their GLONASS, not to mention China and other unAmerican states.


RE: Huh?
By spluurfg on 11/4/2007 10:39:26 AM , Rating: 3
That's an important point... the GPS system is maintained by the US military, but was essentially America's gift to the world -- can you imagine what things would be like without it? However, though they are not really allowed to in general, the military could in theory disable the GPS broadcasts for the public and allow only military units to receive it. This naturally would be a tremendous military disadvantage for anybody who didn't have satellite navigation systems.

However, if one doesn't want to be entirely cynical, if the GLONASS system is made interoperable with the GPS system (and Galileo), the combined signals from such a populated satellite system would give tremendous accuracy (down to inches instead of yards) and coverage to the general public.


RE: Huh?
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 12:13:44 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, the military has no problem scrambling or disabling (I dont know which way its accomplished) when they so desire.

I haven't flown much recently but around the 2004 election if a high-ranking government official, by that I mean any that warranted a moving TFR (temporary flight restriction), it was a roll of the dice if my GPS would be functional or not. Most often, it was functional, but I was warned by a FSS on several more occasions. When the GPS stops working, one just has to tune in VOR's, not a big deal, but its happened.


RE: Huh?
By spluurfg on 11/4/2007 1:55:44 PM , Rating: 2
Well I'm just reading off of wiki, which says that an executive order mandated that the selective availability capability be disabled in general. However I'm guessing that they still maintain the option...


RE: Huh?
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 3:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
I just checked the wiki, and under military uses it notes the ability to jam civilians as military equipment is apparently able to maintain a lock on an encrypted signal that civilian equipment can not.

So that suggests to me that you're right in that they don't flip it off.. they merely transmit another, albeit annoying, signal when they want to.

Or maybe that's not really different, and he really did give some sort of executive order to jam on those occasions. I don't know.


RE: Huh?
By jak3676 on 11/4/2007 6:39:20 PM , Rating: 4
There are still two pieces that the military controls that they could make use of when/if needed to limit the use of GPS systems to only approved military needs. However trying to use any of them would require an executive order and would likely only be used in cases of sustained extreme national emergency.

There are many commercial and military systems that rely on GPS signals for things other than positioning. GPS time can generally be accurate to within nanoseconds so it is used as a timing source for a variety of circuitry, especially communications. If the government felt it necessary to limit GPS signals to only military receives then that would force portions of the national infrastructure into a fault mode. Much of the official military communications system now rides over a commercial backbone. So limiting GPS signals would also be detrimental to the military. None the less, the capability still exists.

GPS receivers are used in three modes: the global positioning system (GPS), standard positioning system (SPS), and precise positioning system (PPS).

The SPS is available to all GPS receivers worldwide, both military and civilian. When a receiver is in the SPS mode, almanac, navigation, and timing information are received on the non-encrypted course acquisition (CA) code satellite signal. To deny unauthorized users the full accuracy of GPS, the Department of Defense (DoD) can intentionally places errors in the navigation and timing signal. This process is called selective availability (SA). The SA errors are unpredictable and can produce significant horizontal and elevation errors. This is one reason why SPS (commercial grade) receivers are not authorized for combat operations.

SA was turned off by executive order on May, 2, 2000.

The satellites also broadcast an encrypted precise (P/Y) code. This transmission is the basis for the PPS that is used by military GPS receivers. These receivers must have crypto keys loaded to detect and nullify the SA errors, which allows for more accurate position data. Also, the crypto keys provide a means of unscrambling the encrypted P/Y code, which is an anti-spoofing (AS) protection. Military receivers have this capability and are considered to be PPS receivers. Only PPS receivers are authorized for combat operations.

Of course signals can still be jammed. Contrary to some articles, neither SA nor AS have any impact on traditional jamming. When the signal to noise ration is below 34 decibels (db) the system is effectively jammed. Of course putting out a jamming signal like that is about like wearing a big red target on your head in the middle of the battlefield.

So yes, technically it can be done. But, I’m pretty sure that’s not something that will ever happen.


RE: Huh?
By Calin on 11/5/2007 2:59:03 AM , Rating: 2
The signal strength of the satellite signal must be very low at reception end - after all, the satellites have limited power, and are at a great distance.
I am certain a B52 filled with GPS jamming equipment could significantly overpower the satellite signal over more than 100 miles around its flight position


RE: Huh?
By jconan on 11/4/2007 9:13:05 PM , Rating: 3
China plans to launch their own global nav. system - beidou satellite. Between 2000 and 2003 they put 3 global nav. systems already into orbit.

http://www.gpsdaily.com/reports/China_To_Launch_2_...


RE: Huh?
By jconan on 11/4/2007 9:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
Surprisingly their logo looks very similar to the
ST logo and ST federation logo combined.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_National_Space_...


RE: Huh?
By JohnnyCNote on 11/4/2007 1:51:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
how much does this actually help the russian economy? Dont they have other things to worry about? correct me if im wrong


It helps to establish the Russians as competitors in the satellite launching business, bringing in big "baksi (bucks)". After the Shuttle fleet is mothballed, the Russians will have the only means to get to the International Space Station for the foreseeable future.

Oh wait, Bush said we were going to Mars! Now that will really be a big shot in the arm . . .


RE: Huh?
By lompocus on 11/4/2007 2:51:24 AM , Rating: 2
moon base = refueling station

following that, we're establishing little thingies (mini bases...gas stations i guess) along the L points or whatever bewteen here an mars. a nice, small, early system. It's better than what you got.

besides, who the hell says america sucks? Retards that base it off their own jealousy, that's who.


RE: Huh?
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 12:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh wait, Bush said we were going to Mars!


Why the disdain? I haven't seen Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid take any time out wasting time to deliver any stirring speeches to their fellow partisans to go above and beyond with funding, and the funding they are so generous to give comes with ear marks, binding NASA's hands. It's been a bipartisan failure with Bush at least trying, though Congress failed to deliver NASA even the meager budget increases he requested with the VSE.

But I know. If it rains in Bermuda or a distant star explodes, it's Bush's fault.


RE: Huh?
By JohnnyCNote on 11/4/2007 7:56:21 PM , Rating: 3
You're talking to a long time supporter of the space program, who still believes it was a big mistake to stop exploration of the Moon after just a few visits. One of the most spectacular sights I ever saw was the launch of Apollo 17, the last lunar mission. It went off around midnight on a beautiful, clear fall night. A couple of years later I even handled a moon rock (it was in a sealed container) that was on display at the planetarium where I worked in high school.

However, I also support realistic space exploration. We're about to lose the Shuttle program, so perhaps you'll understand my skepticism when I hear talk of a mission to Mars in the next 20-30 years.

Please refrain from putting words in my mouth and deal with my actual statements . . .


RE: Huh?
By howtochooseausername on 11/5/2007 12:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Bush at least trying, though Congress failed to deliver NASA even the meager budget increases


NASA's budget today is larger than during the Apollo days, even adjusted for inflation.

A lot of people believe that going to Mars or to the Moon again is just a waste of money. Unmanned missions produce better scientific data and cost a fraction of what a manned mission would.

The cold war is over.


Interesting
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 1:22:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The effects of this incident on the local populous have yet to be fully determined, but launches have resumed with extra precautions.


Something tells me the official story will be that after many great studies it appears that the women in the area have been made beautiful the women and wise the men, with a corresponding decrease in cancer by 97%.

quote:
The U.S. and Russian governments have also been in talks about making the GPS and GLOSNASS networks interoperable and compatible. The U.S. and European Union have struck a similar deal as well.


Now that makes sense. Perhaps if some rogue state tried shooting some satellites down, they could provide fair redundancy for each other.

Meanwhile, the US military can reserve some extra accuracy for itself, as can Russia.

I still don't understand why Galileo exists, though. GLOSNASS and GPS have legitimate primary purposes, military ones, but soothing ones ego is a waste of tax dollars.




RE: Interesting
By TomZ on 11/4/2007 9:24:56 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
I still don't understand why Galileo exists, though. GLOSNASS and GPS have legitimate primary purposes, military ones, but soothing ones ego is a waste of tax dollars.

It exists in order to feed and reinforce anti-American sentiment and/or competition in Europe.


RE: Interesting
By NT78stonewobble on 11/4/2007 10:24:09 AM , Rating: 2
Oh were as glad to have to use the GPS system as you would be having to use the Galileo system.


RE: Interesting
By wordsworm on 11/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting
By ebakke on 11/4/2007 11:42:54 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
But seriously, Chirac was a great president.


Oh no...


RE: Interesting
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 12:54:52 PM , Rating: 3
Chirac.. a great.. president?

He oversaw the devastation of the French economy and the complete erosion of French legitimacy as a global power and who was notable only for being an ass, along with de Gaulle, throughout the Cold War?

Theres a reason why the French stock market rallied upon his election; international investors understood what you clearly may not. Sarkozy will be the best thing for France since the invention of cheese, if he is allowed to pass his reforms. He's also made France more visible on the world stage than in recent memory and is forcefully reasserting Frances role inside the EU. What's not to like? Just that he doesn't hold irrational hatred for Bush?

I wish he wouldn't attack central bank independence, but one must take the good with the bad.

It's also not an issue of competing with American technology. It's a matter of cost effectiveness. The EU will spend huge sums of money for Galileo and receive virtually no marginal benefit as compared to the present scheme. That is, no real measurable benefit, but clearly some will have an emotional benefit. Russia at least is a legitimate global military power and can therefore justify it on those grounds.

But of course, go right ahead and spend the money. Your tax dollars, not mine.


RE: Interesting
By wordsworm on 11/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Interesting
By Ringold on 11/5/2007 12:10:04 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The French economy was and is still very strong.


France's unemployment over recent decades, up to this day, long term rate of growth, and forward-looking economic indicators, including longer term ones like the chronic lack of innovative small business leaders and venture capitalists, all point to more of the same economic stagnation of the last several decades. The unemployment you guys have in the suburbs, where all those disaffected minorities are, is really rather atrocious, and downright dangerous among the younger demographics.

Unless, of course, Sarkozy has his "rupture" and manages to drag people like you, who clearly have their head in the sand with statements like "France is about 1/15th that of the US, its population 1/5, and its listed 6th for GDP" in to a more free market future.

That statement, by the way, might be interesting to a cartographer, but is meaningless to an economist.

As for the relative strength of the US economy, it would be the first time in history if we had a recession during this business cycle after the two extremely strong quarters we've just had. This might be the weakest "trough" by some measures we've ever had; we're still at theoretical full emplyoment! Meanwhile, the consensus I'm hearing from people with more time than I that look at the EU is that it's had its peak and is now on its way to its own trough in the business cycle, suggesting EU weakness as America "recovers". The idea of a "flailing American economy" may make Europeans, and Democrats, feel good, but it isn't at all borne out by any facts on the ground here.

I'll stick to what I know and leave the rest of it alone, except to say perhaps living in Quebec, which benefits from its proximity to America, you may not really know what it's like where those in their 20s in the suburbs face unemployment ranging from 20 to 40%. I don't have Canada's stats in front of me, much less Quebecs, but at least in America we haven't seen that since the Great Depression.


Very nice!
By daftrok on 11/4/2007 12:26:13 AM , Rating: 2
How much?




RE: Very nice!
By poweruserx83 on 11/4/2007 1:02:08 AM , Rating: 3
They should have used Mexico. They send a whale up to space for $200. Even South Park will tell you that.


RE: Very nice!
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 1:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
For an extra $20, they'd give it a "happy ending".


RE: Very nice!
By daftrok on 11/4/2007 2:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
And drive you back home for free!


Borat!
By Etern205 on 11/4/2007 12:07:27 AM , Rating: 2
Heh before I clicked on the article, once I read that
word "Kazakhstan". I had a gut sinking feeling you will use a picture of Borat. :D




Roarr
By Kyanzes on 11/4/2007 6:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
Never get lost in the tundra ever again!
I wonder if the millions of people who disappeared in the GULag Archipelago will find their way back home... and it's not even funny.




come on!
By sj420 on 11/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: come on!
By Martin Blank on 11/4/2007 1:47:07 AM , Rating: 5
It's short for GLObal'naya NAvigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema, something pronounceable in Russian. Whether someone will be immature enough to look for oddities in another language -- whether English, Japanese, Chinese, or Swahili -- doesn't cross their minds, nor should it.


RE: come on!
By JohnnyCNote on 11/4/2007 9:37:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
GLObal'naya NAvigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema


Aka "Global Navigational Satellite System" - very good!

quote:
It exists in order to feed and reinforce anti-American sentiment and/or competition in Europe.


There are lots cheaper ways to "feed and reinforce anti-American sentiment" than spending billions on a global positioning satellite network. It's simply competition.

Beyond that, the article also mentions:
quote:
The U.S. and Russian governments have also been in talks about making the GPS and GLOSNASS networks interoperable and compatible.
That doesn't strike me as anything motivated by a burning desire to "feed and reinforce anti-American sentiment". . .


RE: come on!
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 1:06:32 PM , Rating: 2
See, here is where the American capitalist in me gets confused.

Competition exists for economic reasons; to drive down costs and prices within a field of competitors to maximize the total utility of the market, to maximize total profit.

Here we have Galileo. Will it drive down the cost of GPS? Free is hard to drive down. Will it make GPS magically cheaper to maintain? Not likely. Will it deliver economic benefit to Europe? A very small one if anything. Will it increase total utility? Sort of hard when the world is already blanketed by the GPS. Total profit? Heh, government does not exist for profit, so of course not.

It provides none of the benefits of competition, yet you say it's competition. The only realm in which competition can still exist is in the psychological realm, and thats the one TomZ referred to and the one you've thus far not managed to explain away.


RE: come on!
By Tango on 11/4/2007 1:21:18 PM , Rating: 1
Galileo will be more accurate than GPS or Glonass, specifically because it has no military application.

So, yeah, you will get an increase in utility. All the world will, considering the deals on inter-operativity of the GPS and Galileo systems.

The reason why they built it despite not having military applications is that... they want it for non-military applications! Is it so hard to understand that on some places the military doesn't always come first?

Europe just wanted a satellite positioning system they were sure to work in the future no matter what happened outside their borders. Galileo will do that, for a marginal cost compared to other government programs.

What's the problem?


RE: come on!
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 4:09:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So, yeah, you will get an increase in utility. All the world will, considering the deals on inter-operativity of the GPS and Galileo systems.


Have any economic studies been done that show that the EU will benefit economically a sufficient amount to cover the cost, or is that a complicating detail? While a commercial pilot here disagreed with me, I still maintain that current systems are fine for the vast majority of uses. Every little bit of extra accuracy allows some pilots to execute approachs at lower minimum decision altitudes, but does the EU exist to subsidize a few special interest groups?

Also, the free signal accuracy isn't exactly a shoot-the-lights-out improvement.

quote:
Is it so hard to understand that on some places the military doesn't always come first?


There is also pride.

quote:
Europe just wanted a satellite positioning system they were sure to work in the future no matter what happened outside their borders.


So then, the African Union, Middle Eastern blocs, Venezeula and leftish South America regimes, right-wing South American regimes, Canada, China, and India -- they all better get their own network up as well, or the nefarious Americans may be spiteful, Russians aggressive, or Europeans just moody (or may surrender at the first sign of trouble).

Maybe even little Micronesia better get a network up! Nobody cares about them, so they better make sure nothing outside their borders impacts their boats ability to shuttle between islands.

All of the above have legitimate reasons for concern about availibility. You see how this logic is self perpetuating?

quote:
for a marginal cost compared to other government programs.


The same can be said of every government program. A little bit more alcohol will make us all feel a little better, but at some point someone has to say no more. Given that it's had trouble getting governments to pony up, I'd say at least some agree with me. Given the budget deficits of some EU nations and signs that the economic uptick may be short lived... there seem to be bigger fish to fry.


RE: come on!
By jamdunc on 11/4/2007 6:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Given the budget deficits of some EU nations


And the US has no budget deficit? What planet are you living on?

quote:
but does the EU exist to subsidize a few special interest groups


No it exists to help the European Union and all it's members. And henceforth, if one day in the future, GPS was turned off, we'd have Galileo to use. It's all about redundancy. Whilst we have both we're better off, but just in case, we still have a great system in reserve.

In reality, I just wish Russia would join the EU and then we'd be unstoppable!! Muahahahaaaa!

But seriously now, please remember it was us Europeans who invented the means for space travel, well, mainly the Germans. :p


RE: come on!
By Ringold on 11/5/2007 12:23:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And the US has no budget deficit? What planet are you living on?


US Budget defict as % of GDP 2007: -1.6%

Britain: -2.7%
France: -2.4%
Greece: -2.4%
Italy: -2.7%

That's just ongoing deficits. Most of Western Europe's outstanding debt is already higher as a % of GDP than the US:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_public_debt

Check out Japan. Ouch!

And we're fighting a bloody war! Two of them, actually. Three if you count a more vague global one, four if you count the extra money being poured in to domestic defenses. World War III if you just add it all together. What's ya'lls excuse?

quote:
But seriously now, please remember it was us Europeans who invented the means for space travel, well, mainly the Germans. :p


Germans fleeing Germany invented space travel, but yes. I give you that one. :P


RE: come on!
By JohnnyCNote on 11/4/2007 8:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
The competition comes from the Russians' demonstration of how well they are able to launch satellites into orbit, which provides another choice for companies looking to launch their own space vehicles into orbit. The GLONASS system is a means to bring attention to their capabilities in this industry.

If it fails, then they'll lose potential clients, needless to say . . .


RE: come on!
By wordsworm on 11/4/2007 1:50:00 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
No one else finds that ridiculous?

They call the 7th planet Uranus. I don't think Glo-n-ass can touch that.


RE: come on!
By wordsworm on 11/4/2007 5:37:13 AM , Rating: 4
In 2620, aren't they supposed to rename Uranus to Urectum?


RE: come on!
By threepac3 on 11/4/2007 8:01:04 AM , Rating: 2
Futurama sufferance... Nice.


RE: come on!
By threepac3 on 11/4/2007 8:02:08 AM , Rating: 2
That was supposed to be "reference" not sufferance.


RE: come on!
By DarkElfa on 11/4/2007 11:25:39 AM , Rating: 2
Don't you guys mean Glasnost satellites? I think mister "We need another Cold War to boost our economy and make me a virtual dictator" Putin was just being underhanded with the name. o_O


RE: come on!
By Ringold on 11/4/2007 12:57:45 PM , Rating: 2
I think he's established the dictator thing pretty well without the new Cold War. That he wants for the oil revenue. ;)


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