Out in Front: Happy Birthday, GNSS

November 1, 2012  - By
Image: GPS World


By Alan Cameron.


It was thirty years ago today, Cheremisin taught the band to play. They’ve been going in and out of style, but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile. So may I introduce to you the constellation here for years, Vladimir Putin’s GLObal NAv Sat System!

While in our booth at INTERGEO in Hanover last month, I heard Andrey Kupriyanov say it was GLONASS’s 30th birthday today, that particular today being October 12. “First satellites launched,” he recalled.

“Then it is the 30th birthday of GNSS as well,” I replied. “First GPS, then GLONASS. One plus one equals two: GNSS.” Andrey Kupriyanov nodded agreement, then told me a bit about his involvement in the program back then.

After graduating from the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography in 1972, he obtained a Ph.D. in geodetic astronomy, taught for a while, then worked in the U.S.S.R. Ministry of the Merchant Marine, taking part in the development, testing, and application of new operational equipment for mid-Earth orbit satellites.

We’re Vladimir Putin’s GLObal NAv Sat System, we hope that you enjoy our show. We’re Vladimir Putin’s GLObal NAv Sat System, sit back and let PNT flow.

GLONASS achieved full operational status with 24 satellites in 1995, a year after GPS hit that milestone. The constellation subsequently declined to six operational satellites in 2001.

Andrey Kuypriyanov kept busy, representing Ashtech, Magellan, and Thales Navigation in Russia, and participating in research involving GPS and GLONASS monitoring, interaction, and eventual interoperability.

A recovering economy early this century enabled Russia to invest significantly in satnav again. Renewed launches and new spacecraft designs with longer lifetimes restored the constellation to full operational capability, with worldwide availability and greater accuracy.

Vladimir Putin’s global, Vladimir Putin’s global, Vladimir Putin’s GLObal NAv Sat System!

Andrey Kupriyanov is no longer the young man he once was (who among us is, really?) but he stays involved as executive director of the GLONASS-GNSS Forum and as NovAtel’s regional manager for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

It’s wonderful to be here, it’s certainly a thrill. You’re such a lovely user group, we’d like to take you home with us, we’d love to take you home.

Andrey Kupriyanov Olkgovich is of course only one of many, many long-laboring soldiers in the international GNSS brigade: engineers who made devices, product managers who carried them forth to market, users who embraced them. But on this 30th birthday of GNSS — we’re only just now hitting our stride, entering our golden years — let’s give him, and all of us, a rousing chorus.

I don’t really want to stop the show, but I thought you might like to know, that the singer’s going to sing a song, and he wants you all to sing along. So let me introduce to you the one and only Kupriyanov, and Vladimir Putin’s GLObal NAv Sat System!

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