GLONASS: is there a future for one of the main achievements of modern Russia

If you do not consider the direct Soviet heritage in the person of the Mir station, and do not take into account the ambitious projects of the next decades, such as the alleged landing of Russian cosmonauts on the moon, then GLONASS can be called the most important scientific and technological achievement of post-Soviet Russia.

Judge for yourself. To date, only two countries have global satellite navigation systems: Russia (GLONASS) and the United States (GPS). There is also the European Galileo - a joint project of the satellite navigation system of the European Union and the European Space Agency. But they want to fully deploy the satellite constellation only in 2020. The same goes for the Chinese BeiDou. In fairness, there is no doubt that the Chinese will finish what they have begun. In all that relates to space and of technologiesIn general, China is moving by leaps and bounds.

Russian GLONASS, like its American counterpart, is a dual-use system: it can perform both military and civilian functions. At the same time, both GPS and the Russian system are managed by the military.

In fact, without the Cold War, none of the systems would have been born. The domestic global satellite system originates in the 70s. Then the well-known difficulties and collapse of the country happened, and the deadlines were repeatedly postponed. The “damned 90s” became another blow: in 2001, only six satellites remained in the system, while back in 1995, there were 24. Emergency measures and a surge in oil prices allowed us to stabilize the situation for a while, and in 2010 the total number of GLONASS satellites was brought to 26. Thus, the group was fully deployed to fully cover the globe. An undoubted achievement, but alas, new problems soon began.

New Century - Old Technologies

In 2003, the system was replaced by the second generation of satellites - Glonass-M. New satellites differ from first-generation satellites with an increased guaranteed lifetime. One satellite must operate for seven years. The accuracy of determining the location of objects, in comparison with earlier versions, was increased by 2,5 times.

However, in general, there are not many reasons for joy. Earlier, the journal "Technologies and means of communication" cited data according to which the average life of the GLONASS satellite increased from 2,7 years in the 80s to 4,3 years in the late 90s. And then in the first 10 years of the 3,8st century it fell to 12 years. Over the same period, the average life of the GPS satellite has grown from 80 years in the 15s to 10 years in the first XNUMX years of the XNUMXst century. The difference is enormous.

At the same time, in order to maintain the GLONASS space segment in operational condition, Russia should spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on the creation and launch of navigation satellites. And every year it becomes more and more difficult to find money, and technical risks, on the contrary, are increasing. Recall that recently the apparatus “Glonass-M No. 745” was withdrawn from the group for temporary maintenance.

Now the orbital constellation includes 27 satellites, 21 of them are used for their intended purpose, one is at the stage of flight tests, two more are in reserve. For guaranteed global coverage, you must have 24 operational satellites.

- TASS reported then.

And although the system can still be considered global, formally it is no longer such.

Import Substitution Issues

In August this year, RIA News reported that more than half of the GLONASS satellites operate outside the warranty period. Expired satellites need to be changed. Glonass-M could be replaced by Glonass-K, the guaranteed active life of which is 10 years. The launch of the first Glonass-K satellite was successfully completed in January 2011, but on November 30, 2014, the second and last Glonass-K were launched. As the media wrote then, this device has 90% of electronics - import. Western sanctions once and for all put an end to the project. Engineers had to focus on the new, already purely Russian, Glonass-K2, which they wanted to launch in 2017.

But these plans also had to be postponed. In May 2019, Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of Roscosmos, during a lecture at Moscow State University MV Lomonosov said that the first launch of Glonass-K2 should not be expected until the end of this year.

The end of 2019 - the beginning of 2020 - we are moving to the new Glonass-K2 spacecraft. It is fully equipped on the Russian component base.

- said Rogozin. Earlier, we recall that it was reported that the entire Ministry of Defense ordered three such satellites with an increase in their number in the future.

In May 2019, Kommersant also announced plans to use the Angara launch vehicle for future launches of Glonass-K2.

The first launch of two Glonass-K2 vehicles using the Angara rocket is due to take place in the first quarter of 2024. Next time, Angara is to launch two system satellites into orbit in the third and fourth quarters of 2025.

- says the GLONASS Development Strategy until 2030.

It is difficult to say whether it will be possible to observe at least something from the strategy outlined in it. However, it is already obvious that we are most likely waiting for new postponements and vague statements by officials. In fairness, we note that Rogozin can also be understood: the task of full-fledged serial production of satellites from Russian components is currently impossible. And the purchase of electronics abroad was not at all a “betrayal of the interests of the country”, but a usual necessity, without which the GLONASS group could not exist at all.

Trends of this kind are a distinctive feature of modern globalization. Now not a single country in the world, even as powerful as the United States, can build aircraft, satellites or, for example, ships, relying solely on its own elemental base. In this sense, the story with the undeservedly criticized Superjet aircraft is indicative. Someone does not like that he is not completely Russian. But at the same time, giants like Boeing and Airbus have exactly the same situation, or at least similar. And this is not a serious obstacle to exploitation.

Therefore, the functioning of the Russian satellite constellation will directly depend on relations with the powers that be, including Europe and the United States. If the country continues to be isolated, then the chances of a normal development of the space industry will not be greater than those of rogue states such as North Korea or Iran.
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  1. Pooh Offline Pooh
    Pooh 8 September 2019 11: 33
    There is no future, because there is no component base, and in particular, no anti-radiation component base. And so that it would be, instead of having fat busting olympiads and driving trillions of dollars for a puddle in fat zero, you had to do all this, when there was no sanction, buy factories for the production of electronic components and train your staff, i.e. create your own serious, modern electronic industry. Now it’s too late, the presence of the lack of the above - everywhere backwardness, devastation, depopulation of competent engineers, scientists and other bossy show-offs - for cutting dough. This is Putin’s system - to steal 70% from the remaining ones to create a show. The state has a request for window dressing, there is no request for competent work in a technical sense. An example of a small trolley - not one declared Putin's wunderval (Pakfa, Armata, Sarmatian, petrel, Poseidon, superjet, Eastern cosmodrome, hangar) has not passed the state test procedure and is not produced in large quantities. Because such is the unspoken system, 60-70% drank off, remaining at the window dressing for laundering the sawn off. Obviously, we are not talking about doing normal things in a normal way for this state. Everywhere a solid laundry. All that Russia could be has been completely stolen by the current ruling class. Effective managers turned out to be effective thieves.
    1. 123 Offline 123
      123 (123) 8 September 2019 16: 05
      Are you too naive? Just go and buy an electronic component factory? Remember how they wanted to buy "Opel", and then electronics ..... And excuse me, where did you get the exact figures for "steal and saw off"? Are you in the subject? Or did you count it yourself? If you yourself - by what method? I looked out the window, walked down the street, don't see the "laundry"? Where is she? Specify at least one address. Everywhere means nowhere.
      And yet, they lifted up already with their Olympics. One aircraft carrier wanted to build on this money, and the second to produce electronics. Are there too many instead of one Olympiad? With this money they built bridges, roads, train stations, sports centers, and improved the city.
      1. Pooh Offline Pooh
        Pooh 11 September 2019 02: 03
        Do you want an address? Address one - Moscow, the Kremlin. There is a manual that generates policies for these laundries.
        Then again all of these packs, Armats, Sarmatians, petrels, Poseidons, supergudes, the new Eastern Cosmodrome, the hangar did not pass the state test procedure and / or is not produced in large quantities. Will you challenge this fact? Judging by the results of activities in the military-industrial complex, in the scientific and space sectors, Putin’s state already lacks the scientific, engineering base and qualifications even for large projects.
        Judging by the reviews of people who are actually working in this area, total theft and nepotism flourishes everywhere, thieves are everywhere servants, thieves are effective managers and spread rot, and crowd out qualified engineering and scientific specialists.
        About these bridges, roads, train stations, sports complexes built during the Olympics, they could not write at all. Although, in principle, I understand you - somehow you need to earn a living.
  2. nov_tech.vrn Offline nov_tech.vrn
    nov_tech.vrn (Michael) 8 September 2019 13: 33
    For those not very well-informed, I’ll clarify: according to US laws, all sales of high-tech equipment and its components, and even abroad, if they contain elements of technology developed (bought up) by the United States, are subject to regulation by the US government. All this for sale is prohibited for us, in general, even before the age of 13. The technology for the production of processors, which is two generations behind today (about 20 years old), was able to be purchased and upgraded, and now the corresponding components are slowly being developed and introduced into production. According to GLONASS. Currently, there is a program for the replacement of imported components for GLONASS satellites; a complete replacement of imported components is planned for it by 2023. Currently, the system is operational, and even the author noted that there are backup satellites. And also, are there any engineers here who know what the term means - measures to extend the life of the service, or just writers. At one time, even good prizes were paid for this.
    1. Pooh Offline Pooh
      Pooh 11 September 2019 03: 45
      All this for sale is prohibited for us, in general, even before the age of 13.

      Until 13 years old, when is this? 2001? 2010? In order not to be unfounded, please provide a name or a link to the earliest regulatory act banning the export of technologies and equipment. Judging by the information on the network, the earliest sanctions on electronics began in 2012. Now the question is - what prevented buying technology in the West before the sanctions? And then, does modern technology exist only in the USA? The question is not so much to buy the final product, but to organize the educational process, then to do everything ourselves. Probably, all this is unrealistic, when all state policy, in principle, is imprisoned for sawing and theft.
  3. Sergey Latyshev Offline Sergey Latyshev
    Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 8 September 2019 16: 44
    Import substitution failed, money slammed, and now they are being tricked ....
    But what the hell to try, if only Rogozin has a salary - like 6 cosmonauts .... They are so good.
  4. nov_tech.vrn Offline nov_tech.vrn
    nov_tech.vrn (Michael) 11 September 2019 09: 25
    Currently, the orbital constellation of the Russian global navigation satellite system GLONASS includes 27 spacecraft (25 Glonass-M and two Glonass-K), of which 21 are operating for their intended purpose, two are in the orbital reserve, one is at the stage flight tests and three - for maintenance. For the global coverage of the Earth with the navigation signals of the system, 24 operating satellites are needed. Another satellite is planned to be sent into orbit in November.
  5. nov_tech.vrn Offline nov_tech.vrn
    nov_tech.vrn (Michael) 11 September 2019 09: 39
    Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is an agency of the US Department of Commerce that deals with issues related to national security and high technology. The Bureau is headed by the Deputy Minister of Commerce for Industry and Security.
    The mission of the bureau is to promote US economic interests and national security. Activities include regulating the export of dual-use goods and technologies, enforcing export control laws, monitoring the viability of the US defense industry base, and establishing links between the public and private sectors to protect the country's infrastructure.

    And for each specific case of refusal and prohibition - see for yourself. The last known fact is the lack of consent for the sale of superjets to Iran, because there are more than 10% of them from the USA.