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CeBit 2011 - Glosnass-K Satellite Model 11.jpg
Model of Glonass-K satellite at CeBIT 2011
Manufacturer ISS Reshetnev
Country of origin  Russia
Operator JSC «Navigation-Information systems»
Applications Navigation
Bus Express-1000
Design life 10 years
Launch mass 935 kilograms (2,061 lb)
Power 1.6 kW
Batteries NiH2
Regime MEO
Status In Production
Built 2
Launched 2
Operational 2
First launch 2011-02-26

GLONASS-K is the latest satellite design intended as a part of the Russian GLONASS radio-based satellite navigation system. Developed by Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems and first launched on 26 February 2011, it is a substantial improvement of the previous GLONASS-M second-generation satellites, having a longer lifespan and better accuracy.


Main article: GLONASS

The Federal Targeted Program "Global Navigation System" 2002–2011, introduced in 2001, stipulated the development of a third-generation navigation satellite design, called GLONASS-K, as part of the overall GLONASS upgrade program in the time frame 2005–2011. The new satellite followed the second generation GLONASS-M, introduced in 2003.[1] The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) initially ordered 27 GLONASS-K satellites from Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, the developer of all the previous GLONASS satellites.[2] On 7 December 2010, the company announced it had completed ground tests of the first GLONASS-K satellite.[3] The satellite was launched to orbit on 26 February 2011.[4]


GLONASS-K is the first unpressurised GLONASS satellite—all of its equipments are able to operate in a vacuum. Due to this, the satellite's mass has been substantially reduced: GLONASS-K has a mass of just 935 kg[5] compared to its predecessor GLONASS-M, which had a mass of 1,450 kg. The new satellite has an operational lifetime of 10 years, three years longer than that of GLONASS-M and seven years longer than the lifetime of the original GLONASS satellite. It also increased the power supply from GLONASS-M's 1,400 W to 1,600 W.[5]

GLONASS-K will transmit additional navigation signals to improve the system's accuracy.[1] Existing FDMA signals, 2 military and 2 civilian, will be transmitted on the L1 and L2 bands, and additional civilian CDMA signals will be transmitted in the L1, L2, L3 and L5 bands.[6][7] The new satellite's advanced equipment—made solely from Russian components—will allow doubling of GLONASS' accuracy.[8]


For launching the satellites, two options are planned: six satellites simultaneously from Baikonur Cosmodrome on the heavy-lift Proton-M, or two simultaneously from Plesetsk Cosmodrome on a Soyuz-2 with a Fregat upper stage.[9] In comparison, the previous GLONASS-M satellites could only be launched three at a time on a Proton-M. The new launch scheme is expected to cut orbiting costs by 50%.[8] The launch of the first GLONASS-K satellite did however not conform to the general plan, as it was launched alone on a Soyuz-2.1b instead of in a pair.

At 06:07 Moscow Time on 26 February 2011, the first GLONASS-K satellite was launched. The launch took place from Plesetsk Cosmodrome on a Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Fregat upper stage.[10] The satellite reached the correct orbit at 09:39.[4] At 09:44, ground stations established control over the satellite.[11] A Space Forces spokesman told Interfax: "we have established and are maintaining steady telemetry communications with the spacecraft... the on-board systems of the Glonass-K satellite are functioning normally."[10] Successful reception of the CDMA signal in L3 band has been reported by independent researchers.[12][13][14]

Photogallery from CeBIT 2011 in Hannover[edit]

Russia has exhibited the Glonass-K spacecraft during the CeBIT 2011 fair, that took place in Hannover from 1st to 5 March.


  1. ^ a b "Glonass-K: a prospective satellite of the current GLONASS system" (PDF). Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems. 2007. 
  2. ^ Harvey, Brian (2007). "Military programs". The Rebirth of the Russian Space Program (1st ed.). Germany: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-71354-0. 
  3. ^ "ISS-Reshetnev completes tests on Glonass-K". Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems. 2010-12-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Glonass satellite successfully put into orbit". ITAR-TASS. 2011-02-26. 
  5. ^ a b "JSC ISS - Reshetnev Official GLONASS-K page". JSC ISS Reshetnev. Retrieved 2014-05-26. 
  6. ^ "Russia to launch Glonass satellite on Feb. 24". RIA Novosti. 2011-02-09. 
  7. ^ Urlichich, Y., Subbotin, V., Stupak, G., Dvorkin, V., Povaliaev, A., Karutin, S., "GLONASS Developing Strategy," Proceedings of the 23rd International Technical Meeting of The Satellite Division of the Institute of Navigation (ION GNSS 2010), Portland, OR, September 2010, pp. 1566-1571.
  8. ^ a b Afanasyev, Igor; Dmitri Vorontsov (2010-11-26). "Glonass nearing completion". Russia & CIS Observer. 
  9. ^ "The Global Navigation System GLONASS: Development and Usage in the 21st Century" (PDF). 34th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval (PTTI) Meeting. 2002. 
  10. ^ a b "lonass-K Successfully Reached the Targeted Orbital Destination". Roscosmos. 2011-02-26. 
  11. ^ "GLONASS-K". 
  12. ^ CDMA signal of GLONASS-K1 is tracked by Javad
  13. ^ CDMA signal of GLONASS-K1 is tracked by
  14. ^ Septentrio’s AsteRx3 Receiver Tracks First GLONASS CDMA Signal on L3 Inside GNSS