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Glonass Setting Up 2nd Brazilian Ground Station

A second ground control station for managing and controlling Russia's Glonass satellite network will be put into operation in Brazil this year, Interfax reported Wednesday.

A Russian company signed a deal with Brazil's National Institute of Technology to install a second station named Sazhen-TM, Sergei Savelyev, deputy head of the Russian Space Agency, told reporters at an international military exhibition in Rio de Janiero.

Sazhen-TM is the second ground control station located outside Russia in the Southern hemisphere that will allow Glonass to determine real time parameters on the whereabouts of its satellites. The first station started operating in the Brazilian capital in February.

The two new stations will increase the accuracy of Glonass measurements and boost its competitiveness on the world market, Savelyev said. Russia and Brazil will jointly use the data received by the stations.

Russia has reached agreements to install similar stations in the Republic of South Africa, Nicaragua and Cuba, and two more such stations will be installed in Brazil, he said.

Development of Glonass began in the Soviet Union in 1976 as an answer to America's GPS navigation system developed in 1973. The first phase of Glonass was completed in 1995, but due to financial constraints the system was not made operational. President Vladimir Putin made restoration of Glonass one of the government's top priorities in 2001.

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