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Cablegate: Russia: Global Navigation Satellite Forum Contrasts Cosmic

VZCZCXRO2051
PP RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHMO #1637/01 1020328
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120328Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9131
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0473
RUEHZN/EST COLLECTIVE
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 1912

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001637

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/RUS (HOLMAN, GUHA), OES/SAT (BRAIBANTI,
HODGKINS), L/NP

BERLIN FOR ROBERT HAGEN

STATE PASS TO NASA (BARRY)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TSPA TSPL ECON RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIA: GLOBAL NAVIGATION SATELLITE FORUM CONTRASTS COSMIC
HOPES AND REALITY

REF: MOSCOW 00038

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The April 9-10 International Global Navigation
Satellite Forum in Moscow showcased advances in global positioning,
navigation and timing (PNT) systems. Led by the U.S. GPS system and
followed closely by the Russian GLONASS, many new technologies are
opening in agriculture, weather and environment monitoring,
transportation, counterterrorism security, and other civilian and
military uses. Despite GLONASS lagging behind GPS in operational
capability, the moment is ripe for the USG and the GOR to pursue
agreement on cooperation between their PNT systems. END SUMMARY

Reaching for the Stars...
-------------------------

2. (U) On April 9-10 the Federal Space Agency Roskosmos hosted the
International Global Navigation Satellite Forum in Moscow. More
than 600 representatives of government, business and the scientific
community attended over 200 presentations at the Forum.
Highlighting the importance the GOR attaches to its Global
Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), Anatoliy Perminov, head of
Roskosmos, opened the Plenary Session with a call for expansion of
GLONASS to 18 satellites, the minimum number for operation of the
global navigation system, with two planned launches by the end of
2007. In what sounded like a promise to President Putin and First
Deputy Premier Sergey Ivanov, who have called for rapid completion
of GLONASS, Perminov said by 2009 Roskosmos would deploy 24 GLONASS
satellites or newer-model GLONASS M satellites necessary for full
configuration of the system.

3. (U) Nikolay Anfimov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(RAS) and General Director of the Central Machine Building
Institute, outlined improvements in the accuracy of Russian global
positioning systems. He identified GLONASS applications for air and
marine safety, mapmaking and environmental issues. Anfimov reported
accuracy of measurements from 0.1 meter to 2 meters for aviation,
from 0.1 meter to 1 meter for maritime use, from .02 to .03 meters
for cartography and an amazing .001 to .005 meters for geodynamics.
Other speakers at the breakout sessions detailed the potential uses
of GLONASS in these areas, but most acknowledged that current
applications used the fully-operational United States Global
Positioning System (GPS).

... Through Adversity
---------------------

4. (SBU) Nikolay Testoyedov, member of RAS and General Director of
NPO Applied Mechanics named for Academician Reshetnev, which builds
GLONASS satellites, reported that 15 GLONASS satellites are in
orbit, including three launched on December 25, 2006. However, he
was questioned pointedly by Forum participants based on recent
newspaper articles that claimed only seven GLONASS satellites were
currently operational. Testoyedov responded that the articles were
"true in form" but were outdated. He claimed that two of the three
December satellites had recently been declared operational and the
third would be fully functional by the end of April. (COMMENT: This
explanation fails to account for the other non-operational
satellites. Although the sources are not identified, media reports
suggest that as many as 10 navigational satellites may be out of
commission. END COMMENT) He also defended the longevity of GLONASS
satellites, saying that by 2009 their functional life would
increase. (NOTE: Roskosmos press releases have stated that the next
generation GLONASS K satellite service life would be 10 to 12 years.
END NOTE)

5. (U) M. G. Lebedev, Advisor to the Ministry for Information
Technologies and Communications, cited the break-even point in
annual sales at 700,000 to 750,000 units of GLONASS positioning and
synchronization devices. He forecast achievement of this level in
the Russian market within five years based on projected sales of two
to three million new cars and the inclusion of such devices in 70%
of information technology products. He ascribed 2006 sales of
380,000 units to lagging development of infrastructure, especially
outside Moscow and St. Petersburg, and low awareness by users.
However, audience questions suggested that the Russian market had
not accepted the GLONASS-based devices because of their poor quality
compared to GPS devices.


MOSCOW 00001637 002 OF 003


6. (U) Kenneth Hodgkins, Deputy Director of the Office of Space and
Advanced Technology reviewed the progress in U.S.-Russian
cooperation on GPS-GLONASS interoperability and radio frequency
compatibility. He praised fruitful talks between the GOR and the
USG on a proposed agreement to document this progress. Michael
Shaw, Director of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation
and Timing (PNT) Coordination Office, outlined the USG policy of
open access to GPS free of direct user fees on a worldwide basis.
He cited mutual security interests and encouragement of GPS use and
cooperation with competing systems, such as GLONASS. He noted that
the PNT Advisory Board had six international members of the 24 total
participants.

7. (SBU) In a question period at the end of the Plenary Session, the
participants were told that the GOR had already contracted for the
GLONASS K satellites in 2009, but by law other contracts would be
open for bidding. Yuriy Urlichich, Director General of the Russian
Institute of Space Device Engineering, said funding for GLONASS
would be provided from the government budget and private loans, but
he suggested that the Ministry of Finance might oppose this. A
representative from Motorola was told there was a special office for
certification of imported devices, and this would be covered in one
of the breakout sessions. At that session, the response was "See me
outside the conference." Several questioners elicited the
information that regulatory authorities were considering acceptance
of U.S.-based CDMA technology for GLONASS.

Legal and Regulatory Environment
--------------------------------

8. (U) In the Forum session devoted to the International and Legal
Aspects of Satellite Navigation in Russia, Vladimir Klimov, head of
the Roskosmos Office of Navigation of Automatic Spacecraft,
identified 11 departments and agencies in the GOR that are part of
the Coordinating Council for the interagency group overseeing
GLONASS. He said the Coordinating Council's priorities are
upgrading GLONASS functioning and orbital configuration, developing
civilian use, pursuing transportation applications, improving
capabilities and servicing special (i.e. military and security
forces) users. He professed optimism on cooperation with GPS, the
European Space Agency's Galileo system and other global navigation
programs. (NOTE: Klimov is co-chair with Ken Hodgkins of the Plenary
Group on GPS-GLONASS Cooperation. END NOTE)

9. (U) Sergey Pisarev, Director General of the Russian Institute of
Radionavigation and Timing (RIRV in Russian acronym), referred to
coordination and research for civilian and military purposes as
driving GLONASS. He cited the Chaika (seagull) system of 14
stationary and 20 mobile stations as having cost advantages and
allowing coverage of the southern and eastern areas of Russia. First
Deputy Premier Sergey Ivanov recently encouraged RIRV to increase
Russian competitiveness with GPS. When questioned, he acknowledged
that the GLONASS standard was only accepted in 20 percent of the
countries using global positioning technology. He forecast that
GLONASS will develop a receiving chip that would sell for only five
dollars each.

10. (U) Col. Mark Crews, U.S. Air Force Chief Engineer for GPS,
reviewed satellite development and modernization. He noted recent
decommissioning of the longest orbiting GPS satellite after 15
years. Twenty-nine satellites are currently operational, the latest
having come online a few days after launch in November. He also
cited improvements in technical aspects of bandwidths and signal
strength that provided enhanced civilian user benefits. He looked
forward to increased cooperation with GLONASS and other
international systems.

Comment
-------

11. (SBU) High-level officials of Roskosmos extended extraordinarily
warm welcomes to the U.S. delegation. Roskosmos Deputy Head Yuriy
Nosenko invited Hodgkins, who has the lead on drafting the
GPS-GLONASS Cooperation Agreement, to sit on the dais for the
Plenary Session with Perminov and First Deputy Commander of the
Space Forces Kvasnikov. Nosenko's second-in-command, Anatoliy
Shilov, Director of the Space Complexes and Ground Control
Directorate, came to the U.S. table at the celebratory dinner and

MOSCOW 00001637 003 OF 003


toasted Russian-U.S. cooperation in space navigation systems.

12. (SBU) COMMENT (CONT.): Despite GLONASS lagging at this point
behind GPS, it is still the only other functional global PNT system.
On March 29 President Putin cited GLONASS at a meeting of the
Presidium of the State Council as an example of innovation and
diversification of the economy. First Deputy Premier Ivanov has
noticeably pushed development of GLONASS. This is clearly an
opportune moment to seize the initiative to conclude a GPS-GLONASS
cooperation agreement between the GOR and the USG.

13. (U) OES/SAT Ken Hodgkins cleared this cable.

BURNS

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