NewsThe Russian GPS? This is the satellite system in...

The Russian GPS? This is the satellite system in which Russia wants Mexico to collaborate

Mexico and Russia reached a satellite cooperation agreement last week. However, the scope of this agreement generates disagreements between the two countries.

The Russian government affirms that the cooperation contemplates the installation of networks of the Glonass system, similar to the US GPS, and an optical-electronic system for the prevention of dangerous space situations.

“The agreement was prepared and signed in view of the stable trend of expanding cooperation between Russia and Mexico in the space sphere through joint projects,” reads the document made public by the Kremlin.

The Mexican government rejects that the agreement includes the installation of the Glonass system. “The Reference Framework Agreement does not mention or include it and it is not planned to install it in our country,” said the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Marcelo Ebrard, in a tweet published on Sunday.

Glonass put its first satellites into orbit just 40 years ago, on October 12, 1982, but it has not been as successful as its American rival. Below we present the information about this satellite system, as well as the uses that Russia has given it.

What is the Glonass system and how does it work?

The Glonass system is the equivalent of the United States Global Positioning System (GPS). Both satellite systems emerged at the height of the Cold War. Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) is now operated by Russia through the Russian special agency Roskosmos.

The system consists of a constellation of 31 satellites —24 active, three spare, two undergoing maintenance, one in service and one in testing— located in three orbits of eight satellites each.

The system is almost as accurate as GPS and is accessible to any user equipped with wireless access points. Some companies that use Glonass chips in their equipment are Apple, Garmin, Sony and HTC.

In addition to its satellite network, Glonass uses terrestrial networks, located mainly in Russia, Antarctica, Brazil and Cuba, forming a kind of triangle, according to an article by BBC Mundo.

What is it for?

High precision services are oriented for uses in personal navigation, search and rescue, geodesy and cartography, construction, land transportation, agricultural industry, aviation, space, maritime transportation, environment, as well as communications and synchronization.

As of 2012, the GLONASS system has been moving in the direction of efficiently solving positioning, navigation and timing tasks for the benefit of the defense, security and social and economic development of the country in the near and distant future, indicates the system website.

Where does the Russian GPS operate?

Like GPS, the GLONASS satellite network offers worldwide coverage, with similar accuracy to GPS, although in some parts of the world such as the southern hemisphere, the accuracy of the US system may be slightly better.

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