Glonass-M – a chapter in the history of satellite navigation
Information Satellite Systems – Reshetnev Company has brought to a close the production of navigation satellites of the Glonass-M series.
The last Glonass-M satellite (Glonass-M №61) has been already completed and moved to special facilities at ISS-Reshetnev’s site for safekeeping where it will be stored until its launch date is specified. Glonass-M №61 is the ninth spare satellite waiting for launch on the ground to augment the GLONASS system.
The Reshetnev Company has been building Glonass-M navigation satellites for 15 years to date. The first satellite of the series was launched into orbit in 2003. As an improved version of their predecessors – Glonass satellites, modernized Glonass-M feature increased active lifespan (from three up to seven years) and the considerably improved quality of navigation signals. As well as that, the new satellites provided a ten-fold increase in the positioning accuracy of Russia’s navigation system.
During the Glonass-M program, about ten instruments and technologies that are already used or will be installed on next-generation Glonass-K and Glonass-K2 navigation satellites have been flight tested and qualified.
Starting from 2011, when the global navigation satellite system GLONASS reached it full operational capability, it consists of 24 Glonass-M satellites. Eight satellites out of this number have already outlasted their designed lifespans but continue carrying out their missions in orbit. Based on this series of satellites, GLONASS makes high-precision positioning services available to millions of users all over the world.