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Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours 148

Posted by timothy
from the high-level-intrigue dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In an unprecedented total disruption of a fully operational GNSS constellation, all satellites in the Russian GLONASS broadcast corrupt information for 11 hours, from just past midnight until noon Russian time (UTC+4), on April 2 (or 5 p.m. on April 1 to 4 a.m. April 2, U.S. Eastern time). This rendered the system completely unusable to all worldwide GLONASS receivers."
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Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours

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  • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @08:09AM (#46648211) Homepage

    Newer phones have location chipsets that support both GPS and GLONASS. Do they figure out automatically that the GLONASS information is bad and switch to using GPS exclusively?

    I've noticed much increased performance since I upgraded to a phone that uses both systems, especially in cities with a lot of tall buildings like NYC and Chicago.

  • Re:Warning Shot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @08:40AM (#46648533) Homepage

    "Seriously? The US does not even control its inner cities. Have you been in Detroit, in Trenton, etc. lately? "

    If you dont think this is intentional then you are nuts. they know that these cities are out of control cesspools, and it is intentional they are still that way. We have the resources to clean them up and restore order easily, but you don't have a easily controlled scared populace when you do that. DC is a cesspool because it is more effective to have an element of fear to point at to help shove things down the public's throats. Like the PATRIOT act for example.

  • by CeasedCaring (1527717) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @08:40AM (#46648541)
    Actually, it was last weeks NCIS:LA "Zero Days", which aired 3/25/14, and involved the NCIS techies corrupting GLONASS to divert a missile aimed at San Francisco. See TVRage [tvrage.com]
  • by Flytrap (939609) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @09:10AM (#46648827)

    So much speculation from people who do not appear to have even read the article.

    FTA: “Bad ephemerides were uploaded to satellites. Those bad ephemerides became active at 1:00 am Moscow time... a GLONASS fix could not take effect until each satellite in turn passed back over control stations in the Northern Hemisphere to be reset, thus taking nearly 12 hours.”

    The article concludes that the outage was probably due to a human error which "...could conceivably occur with GPS, Galileo, or BeiDou" and advises consumers not to rely on only one system.

    My [completely uninformed and speculative] guess is that the Russians probably rushed a software update to meet some military deadline and it backfired on them - now Putin's troops amassed along the Ukrainian boarder may have to do without whatever feature they were trying to quickly enable.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Thursday April 03, 2014 @01:29PM (#46651693) Homepage

    It seems to depend where you are. I find that in the far east GPS is often less accurate that GLONASS. My understanding is that it is due to them using different approximations of the shape of the earth (it isn't quite round, more of an ellipsoid). In fact you get this with some mapping applications too because the map data is based on, say, the Japanese approximation that is well suited to their country but the GPS receiver is using the US approximation (WGS85 or something?)

    I bet if you are stood in Moscow GLONASS is better. I find it is definitely more accurate in Japan, although Japan is supposed to be launching its own GPS supplementary satellites to improve the situation in the next few years.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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