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Should multi-constellation receivers be a dictate?

Russia is to launch one more GLONASS M series satellite in June. Japan is on track with regards to their QZSS. China's BeiDou is up and running. Galileo too is on its way to completion. The USA's GPS is stable and rugged. India's IRNSS is on track. Keeping the strategic importance of GNSS in mind, US and Russia have spare satellites ready to be summoned whenever replacements are required. On the whole it is a comfortable feeling that with all these GNSS up there, we'll never be lost any more, or will we? Just a couple of weeks ago, the entire GLONASS system crashed and resulted in positional errors up to 50km. The head of Roscosmos has blamed the programmers who had designed the satellites’ new software, stating that they had committed several mathematical mistakes.

As none of us pay for the positioning or navigation services we use on a day-to-day basis, it is debatable if any responsibility can be placed on the service providers. The fine print on every handheld navigation device is sure to absolve the manufacturer of any responsibility for any mishap due to failure or errors in the GNSS. It is high time that stricter policies be implemented for the sake of public safety and the least of which is to make >multi-constellation receivers mandatory.