Negotiations on interoperability between the European Galileo and Russian Glonass satellite navigation systems are expected to restart soon, after a year-long hiatus. The hope of talks follows an agreement on dialogue structures between the European Commission and Russia’s Federal Space Agency (FSA).

A trilateral steering board has been created for discussions between the EC, European Space Agency and the FSA. ESA already has working groups covering areas of co-operation under its framework agreement with the FSA, including satellite communications, global navigation and technology. These will include EC representatives and will report to the new steering board. A new working group on Earth observation will also be created.

Navigation system interoperability remains a difficult subject. “Our proposal has sat on the table on the Russian side for a year. There has been no answer so far, but we expect negotiations to restart soon,” says an EC source.

A Galileo programme source suspects that financial issues have delayed the Russian response. Russia’s plans for renewing its Glonass constellation mean it will be launching new satellites during Galileo’s deployment phase.

On wider space issues, the FSA will work with the EC through the steering board and the European Union’s Seventh Framework research and technology programme. Russia may provide electro-optical assets for the new EC/ESA Global Monitoring for Environment and Security initiative, which accounts for a substantial part of the space funding.


Source: Flight International