GLONASS again at the hearing
The market is experiencing a boom of devices supporting work with GLONASS. The first smartphone with support for GLONASS signals in the world was the MTS 945 GLONASS, which was released in April 2011. The device turned out unsuccessful both in terms of navigation quality and cost.
Behind him, in May, the first GLONASS-enabled car navigator model appeared on the market - the Lexand SG-555. The success of this navigator was its hybridity, that is, the ability to receive both GPS and GLONASS signals at the same time.
There are a lot of devices working besides GPS and GLONASS: some models of car navigators from Garmin, Explay, Digma, Prology, Garmin eTrex tourist navigators, personal and car trackers, car DVRs, many mobile phone models (smartphones from GLONASS already work Apple (iPhone 4s), Nokia (Lumia series), some HTC, Huawei, Samsung, and even some Chinese Android backgrounds.
Both domestic and foreign manufacturers have intensified their efforts in this area. The release of Lexand SG-615 HD has consolidated the success of the pioneer company in the market. Among the five-inch navigators, the competition of this model is only Navitel NX5223HD Plus.
Why is that?
One of the first reasons - the selection of products on the market by improving performance. Like it or not, but GPS navigators will not be better.
What does the owner of the navigator need? Accuracy of coordinates determination, quick cold start, stability of signal reception, optimal calculation of the route, detailed maps and, depending on the requests and operating conditions, additional options, like the FM transmitter, Bluetooth or GSM module.
In fact, GPS devices from different manufacturers differ only in technical characteristics and additional options. Consumer characteristics (accuracy and stability of reception, start time) are about the same.
Let's go back to the needs of users of navigators. Work with the route and maps - the task of navigation software. Additional options for that and additional, so that you can do without them.
It remains the accuracy of coordinates, start time and stability of reception. Each manufacturer seeks to make its device better than others - this is where the competition lies. And they do this by receiving signals from another navigation system - GLONASS.
The whole secret is in the number of satellites available to hybrid devices. The orbital constellations GPS and GLONASS have 24 satellites each. To get started, you need to establish a connection with at least four of the 24, and of the 48 - due to this, the start time is reduced.
It is believed that the more satellites the navigator “sees”, the higher the accuracy of determining the coordinates. This is not quite true. Accuracy is affected not only by the number of satellites, but also by their location. The Americans after all set up satellites primarily for themselves, so the so-called geometry of the satellite constellation in Russia was hard to call good. Signals from GLONASS make the situation much better.
Let us turn to the stability of signal reception. Problem navigation in megacities makes dense buildings high-rise buildings that obscure a large area of the sky. And in the narrow band that remains, there must be four satellites. GLONASS comes back to the GPS with its spacecraft.
Another reason is the state lobby GLONASS.
The widespread use of GLONASS system data in navigation devices is another step towards the revival of the system. The first real step was the restoration of the orbital constellation in early 2010.
Shortly thereafter, the site of the Federal Space Agency of Russia posted information about the ERA GLONASS program (ERA - short for “emergency response in case of accidents”). It was stated that "Vehicles equipped with this unit (GLONASS navigation unit) will be able to automatically report in the event of an accident about the location and nature of the accident to the nearest Emergency Control Center or emergency service, and they will be able to quickly and promptly send all necessary assistance."
The Order of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation dated January 26, 2012 No. 20 regulates the procedure for equipping vehicles that transport passengers and dangerous goods with “GLONASS or GLONASS / GPS satellite navigation equipment”. Regulation on licensing approved by the Order of the Government, R s 02.04.12 № 280.
If you want to get a license for transportation, be ready to go through the “GLONASS test”. In the top-end equipment Lada Priora and Lada Kalina also install GLONASS / GPS navigators.
Modernization of the ground-based component of the system, replacement of spacecraft with new ones, with improved characteristics.
The trend is being tracked clearly: these nationwide projects and programs are aimed at supporting and ensuring the development of GLONASS, but they also do not give an answer to the question “Why did they take up GLONASS?”
The third reason - global - the development of its own system, reducing dependence on the "alien" GPS.
How is it so, to have at your disposal one of the functioning navigation systems in the world and not to use it in full? All satellites were put into orbit in 1995, but in the eventful second half of the 90s, very few people remembered GLONASS.
Maybe this system continued to be used by the military - probably unknown. Not in vain in this system, as in any other, encrypted channels of high accuracy are provided.
Obviously, one thing is that the top military-political leadership of the Russian Federation made a strategic decision to reanimate the domestic navigation system. This decision lies exclusively in the geopolitical plane.
In view of the decisions and decrees, GLONASS undertook in 2001, when nobody had yet thought that the United States would deploy elements of a missile defense system in Romania and Poland, about Georgia’s withdrawal from the CIS and rapprochement with America or about aggravating relations with NATO.
And one more thing: it is known that in the event of a military conflict, the cellular communication system is one of the first to die. Who said that the GPS will function as before? What if a special decision of the American president only special receivers will be able to receive encrypted GPS signals? But the navigation is needed by all types and types of troops.
The GLONASS system was developed at the Stakhanov pace, today its recovery is proceeding at the same pace. A few negative consequences of this revival were felt by the carriers - for them this is an additional waste.
It all boils down to the fact that soon GLONASS will not give in to GPS in anything. Decision makers have their own strategic intentions, and users of hybrid devices have their own small joy - the improved characteristics of navigators, as compared with GPS.