GLONASS ground monitoring launches in Brazil

A GLONASS ground-based control station was launched last week in Brazil, two years after NIS, the Russian national navigation service provider, forged local alliances to promote GLONASS navigation technology in the Latin American market. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev found it an important enough event to devote time to seeing the station during his recent two-day visit to the South American country.

The first GLONASS monitoring point in the Western Hemisphere, the Brazilian station is expected to boost the positioning accuracy of Russia’s growing satellite navigation system, hopes Roscosmos, Russia’s federal space exploration agency and a partner in the development of GLONASS.

Russia is seeking partnerships with nations across the globe to install its ground-based GLONASS control stations in more than 30 countries. According to the news website TelecomDaily, most of these countries “have already agreed” in principle; while in Spain, Indonesia, and Australia, such partnerships “are nearing finalization,” the site reports.

Other countries are also interested in hosting GLONASS stations. In 2011, NIS announced expansion plans for India which included solid investments in that country. In 2012, just a few months after completing its global coverage, GLONASS was adopted by the U.S. Geological Survey, and may soon be embraced by “several states of the U.S.,” according to Comnews.ru. Canada, Belgium, Japan, and Sweden are also reported to be tapping into the Russian navigation system.

The accuracy of GLONASS “is already comparable with that of GPS” at high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in densely populated urban areas and in mountainous regions, believes Mikhail Kashtanov of GeoLife, a Russian geo-service operator.

First published in East-West Digital News.

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