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What is GLONASS and how it is different from GPS

enero 1, 2020

GLONASS an acronym that stands for Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya System or Global Navigation Satellite System. GLONASS the Russian version of GPS (Global Positioning System).

Who built GLONASS?

The Soviet Union began developing GLONASS in 1976. GLONASS is the most expensive program of the Russian Federal Space Agency, which consumes one third of its budget in 2010.


The various versions of GLONASS are

  1. GLONASS – launched in 1982, the launched satellites were intended to work for meteorological positioning, speed measurement and timing anywhere in the world or in space close to Earth by military and official organizations.
  2. GLONASS-M – launched in 2003 adds the second civil code. important for GIS mapping receivers.
  3. GLONASS-k – started in 2011 still has 3 more types: k1, k2 and km for research. Adds third civil frequency.
  4. GLONASS-K2 – will be launched after 2015 (currently in the planning phase)
  5. GLONASS-KM – will be launched after 2025 (currently under research)

What is A-GLONASS?

A-GLONASS, Assisted GLONASS very similar to GLONASS but A-GLONASS offers more functionality for smartphones. It offers features such as turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic data and more. Use the cell towers near your location to quickly lock your location with the help of your data connection. A-GLONASS also improves the performance in the chip sets supplied with GLONASS support.

How much did GLONASS cost?

Until 2011, the Russian government has spent approximately $ 5 billion on the GLONASS project and has invested an additional 320 billion rubles ($ 10 billion) for the 2012-2020 period. GLONASS the most expensive project ever carried out by the Russian Federal Space Agency.

How does GLONASS differ from GPS?

The GPS developed by the United States has a network of 31 satellites covering this planet and has been widely used in commercial devices such as cell phones, navigators, etc.

GLONASS developed by Russia originally founded by the Soviet Union in 1976. It has a network of 24 satellites covering the earth.

The image shows the orbit and constellation of GLONASS (left) and GPS (right).

Here is a table of specifications that compare GPS vs GLONASS

OwnerRussian FederationUnited States
Number of satellitesAt least 2431
Orbital height21150 km19130 km
PrecisionPosition: 5-10 mPosition: 3, 5-7, 8 m
Inclination of the orbital plane64, 8 degrees55 degrees
Orbital period11 hours and 16 minutes11 hours and 58 minutes
FrequencyApprox.1602 GHz (SP) Around 1,246 GHz (SP)1.57542 GHz (L1 signal) 1.2276 GHz (L2 signal)

Advantage of GLONASS on GPS (GLONASS Vs GPS)

There is no clear advantage other than accuracy on GPS. When used alone, GLONASS does not have coverage as strong as GPS, but when both used together they certainly increase accuracy with coverage. And more useful in the northern latitudes as Russia started GLONASS originally for Russia.

Precision is an advantage of GLONASS with precision up to 2 meters. GPS + GLONASS allows you to point your device on a group of 55 satellites worldwide. So when you are in a place where GPS signals are blocked like between huge buildings or subways, you will be tracked accurately by GLONASS satellites.

Commercial use of GLONASS

GLONASS was the first commercially used in car navigators such as the Glospace SGK-70 but it was bulky and expensive. The Russian government is trying hard to promote GLONASS commercially.

iPhone 4S was the first Apple product to use both GPS and GLONASS to locate the location on maps.

All high-end devices that support GPS functionality, especially navigators, include GLONASS receivers on their chip to use location-based services.

What is offered for smartphones?

Today any mobile phone, whether it is a high-end smartphone or a low-cost smartphone, equipped with A-GPS (assisted Global Positional System) that uses the network capabilities to find its position.

Now with GLONASS offered for public services, more and more smartphones are launched with GPS + GLONASS technology to use the location-based dual core service to find the location. Initially only Flagship or high-end smartphones boast these features, but over time, we will see both of these technologies equipped on low and medium-end smartphones. More and more chip companies and manufacturers seem to be interested in GLONASS technology, so more and more smartphones are expected with this technology.

List of smartphones that support GLONASS

Smartphone manufacturerMobile phone model
AcerAcer Liquid S2
AlcatelAlcatel OT-995
AppleiPhone 4S
AppleiPhone 5
AppleiPhone 5C
AppleiPhone 5S
AsusPadFone 2
AsusPadFone Infinity
AsusASUS MeMO Pad FHD 10 ME302C
AsusASUS MeMO Pad 10 ME102A
AsusASUS MeMO Pad 7 ME176C
AsusASUS Fonepad 7 ME372CG
AsusASUS Fonepad 7 ME175CG
blue raspberryBlackBerry Z10
blue raspberryBlackBerry Q10
HTCHTC Butterfly
HTCHTC Butterfly S
HTCHTC Desire 600
HTCHTC One Mini 2
HTCHTC Windows Phone 8S
HTCHTC Windows Phone 8X
HuaweiHuawei Ascend D1 Quad XL
HuaweiHuawei Ascend G600
HuaweiHuawei Ascend G615
HuaweiHuawei Ascend Mate
HuaweiHuawei Ascend P2
HuaweiHuawei Ascend P6
HuaweiHuawei Honor (U8860)
HuaweiHuawei Honor 2
LGLG Nexus 4
LGLG Nexus 5
LGLG Optimus G
LGLG G2 mini
LGLG Optimus G Pro
LGLG Optimus Sol
LGLG Venice
LGLG Optimus L9
LGLG Optimus L9II
MeizuMeizu MX2
MotorolaMotorola Atrix HD
MotorolaMotorola Moto E
MotorolaMotorola RAZR
MotorolaMotorola MOTO G
MotorolaMotorola MOTO X
MotorolaMotorola RAZR HD
MotorolaMotorola RAZR M
MotorolaMotorola RAZR MAXX
MotorolaMotorola DROID 4
MotorolaMotorola DROID RAZR
MotorolaMotorola DROID RAZR HD
MotorolaMotorola DROID RAZR M
MotorolaMotorola DROID RAZR MAXX
MotorolaMotorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD
NokiaNokia Lumia 520
NokiaNokia Lumia 525
NokiaNokia Lumia 620
NokiaNokia Lumia 625
NokiaNokia Lumia 710
NokiaNokia Lumia 720
NokiaNokia Lumia 800
NokiaNokia Lumia 820
NokiaNokia Lumia 822
NokiaNokia Lumia 900
NokiaNokia Lumia 920
NokiaNokia Lumia 925
NokiaNokia Lumia 928
NokiaNokia Lumia 1020
NokiaNokia Lumia 1520
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S Duos 2
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Ace 2
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Ace 3
SamsungSamsung G350 Galaxy Core Plus
SamsungSamsung Ativ S
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Chat
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Exhilarate
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Express
SamsungSamsung G3815 Galaxy Express 2
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Grand
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Grand 2
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Mega
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Music
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Note
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Note II
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Note III
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Pocket
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Pocket Neo
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Fame
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S II Plus
SamsungSamsung S7582 Galaxy S Duos 2
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S III
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S III Mini
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S IV
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S IV Active
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S IV duos ++
SamsungSamsung Galaxy SV
SamsungSamsung Galaxy S Relay 4G
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Xcover 2
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Win GT-I8552
SamsungSamsung Omnia W
SamsungSamsung S8600 Wave III
SamsungSamsung Focus
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Trend 7392
SamsungSamsung S7580 Galaxy Trend Plus
SamsungSamsung z
Sony EricssonSony Ericsson Xperia active
Sony EricssonSony Ericsson Xperia arc
Sony EricssonSony Ericsson Xperia arc S
Sony EricssonSony Ericsson Xperia neo
Sony EricssonSony Ericsson Xperia neo V
Sony EricssonSony Ericsson Xperia pro
Sony EricssonSony Ericsson Xperia ray
Sony EricssonSony Ericsson Xperia acro hd
StarmobileStarmobile Navi
SonySony Xperia acro HD
SonySony Xperia acro S
SonySony Xperia AX
SonySony Xperia ion
SonySony Xperia neo L
SonySony Xperia S
SonySony Xperia SL
SonySony Xperia SP
SonySony Xperia SX
SonySony Xperia T
SonySony Xperia TL
SonySony Xperia TX
SonySony Xperia V
SonySony Xperia VL
SonySony Xperia Z
SonySony Xperia Z Ultra
SonySony Xperia ZL
SonySony Xperia ZR
SonySony Xperia Z1
SonySony Xperia Z2
XiaomiXiaomi Phone 2
XiaomiXiaomi Phone 2A
XiaomiXiaomi Phone 2S
XiaomiXiaomi Phone 3

How does Google Maps use GLONASS and GPS?

Google Maps and other mapping applications such as Nokia HERE Maps and Apple Maps use the data connection to connect to the GLONASS and GPS satellites. Modern smartphones are equipped with A-GPS and A-GLONASS support, which offers features such as turn-by-turn navigation, location tracking and real-time location information.

What are the prospects after GLONASS and GPS?

  • The European Union is currently working on a system called GALILEO which provides a highly accurate global positioning service under civilian control. The Galileo system consists of 30 satellites (27 operational + 3 active spare parts), positioned in three circular planes of average Earth orbit at 23 222 km above sea level and with an orbital plane inclination of 56 degrees with respect to equator.
  • China is developing its own constellation of 35 satellites called BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and under construction since January 2015. Offer more capacity than current GPS. currently operating in China and the Asia Pacific region with 11 satellites in use, it will be available globally by 2020.
  • IRNSS o Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System an autonomous satellite system developed by the ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) and offering public service and limited service (authorized users as military). This system would consist of a constellation of 7 satellites, 4 of which are already positioned in the orbit. The project is expected to be operational by 2016.

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Image courtesy: Wikipedia

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