RIRT history
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RIRT History

The Russian Institute of Radionavigation and Time, the Federal State Unitary Enterprise (till 1991 the Leningrad Scientific Research Radiotechnical Institute -- LSRRT), was established on the basis of several divisions of All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Radio Equipment and VECTOR Scientific/Production Group in 1956. The propose was to promote activities in the field of creating a common USSR positioning/timing service.

1957. Development and delivery of common-time equipment for synchronizing measurement and control aids used when launching the first Earth satellite (accuracy of time scale synchronization at the level of 3-5 ms). N.A.Begoon, Chief Designer of this project, the was awarded the USSR Lenin Prize.

1961. While continuing to improve the common-time service, increasing its accuracy and reliability, the Institute developed and delivered the equipment for transmitting time signals via naval VLF communications stations on special program as well as a number of common-time equipment modifications, thus having provided the synchronization of command-measurement complex units with the specified accuracy (500 ms) when the spacecraft with the first Earth cosmonaut Yury A. Gagarin was launched. Chief Designer of project - N.A.Begoon and L.D.Vasin. Many of equipment designers were orders and medals.

1965. Development and delivery were completed with respect to the equipment of the onboard synchronization unit with proper check-out/ measurement equipment for space-based Earth surveillance complexes. Chief Designer - N.A.Begoon.

1967. Development and delivery were performed with respect to the equipment of the onboard synchronization unit with a proper check-out/ measurement and control equipment for Earth satellites of METEOR type. Chief Designer, E.Y.Sentyanin was awarded the USSR State Prize for development and serial implementation of this equipment.

Over further years, the Institute developed more than 40 types of various onboard synchronization unit and frequency standards for various space platforms with a delivery of a proper check-out/test and synchronization equipment. These units and standards were purposed for such national programs as "Cosmos", "Meteor", "Resource", "Priroda" and others for establishing space-based systems for Earth surveillance in the interests of defense, national economy, hydrometeorology, study of land/ocean mineral resources, scientific/practical projects on studies of climate, nature and ecological monitoring of ocean, land, atmosphere and near-Earth space as well as for international projects, for example, KOSPAS-SARSAT (rescue system functioning at any point of the globe).
The Institute also developed and delivered onboard synchronization unit for orbital manned SALYUT and VIR complexes.
Y.G.Gouzhva, V.S.Zholnerov, A.I.Fedorov, A.G.Gevorkyan, A.L.Myasnikov, chief designers of these projects, were awarded the USSR State Prize, and Y.M.Grudinin --Prize of the USSR Council of Ministers.
For various years, works on creating onboard synchronization unit and frequency standards for space systems were governed by D.V.Kudryavtsev, N.S.Petrova, B.A.Grebenovsky, A.I.Podmazkin, A.E.Tyulyakov, A.B.Basevich, V.G.Kuzminsky, B.N.Balyasnikov, A.M.Alexandrov.

1969. The European Chain of CHAYKA long-phase radionavigation system was put into operation. This chain was proposed to determine an aircraft/ship position with an error of 50…100 m (similar to U.S. LORAN-C system). Chief Designer was E.S.Poltorak.

1970. Development of works on space utilization revealed that actual coordinates of many objects were much different from those given in geographic maps. In order to correct these mistakes, the high-accuracy astronomical setups were developed enabling to determine its coordinates with an accuracy of 20 m. RIRT developed and delivered the common/time equipment for time scales synchronization of this setups.
E.I.Bauman, Chief Designer of this project was awarded the USSR State Prize.
The common/time system equipment was developed also for synchronizing control facilities of naval ships. Chief Designer of this project was D.V.Kudryavtsev.

1972. ALPHA VLF phase radionavigation system was put into operation to determine positions of aircraft, ship and submarines (in underwater position). This system was being developed in parallel with U.S. OMEGA system. ALPHA coverage is up to 10,000 km from the master station, position error of 2.5…7 km. G.V.Golovushkin, Chief Designer of this project, was awarded the title "The Honorific Machine Builder in the USSR". Many of the Institute's staff members were awarded orders and medals of the USSR.

1975. Extending a network of ground-based/ship scientific/measuring sites in order to check spacecraft orbit parameters as well as increase of requirements to synchronization accuracy of their time scales result in necessity to establish a common-time system of high accuracy. Since 1963 through 1975, under supervision of L.D.Vasin, Chief Designer, the problems were solved related to time signals transmission program, system structure, and system control principles. The system was put into operation in 1975. The time scale synchronization error did not exceed 50ms and for particular paths up to 10ms. Over 400 platforms of various purpose were equipped with the common/time system equipment. Owing to this project, the Institute was awarded The October Revolution Order, and a group of staff members governed by the Chief Designer was awarded the USSR State Prize and honor governmental decorations.

1975. A new radionavigation system was put into operation. The low-orbit satellites of this system were used as reference stations to determine positions of various objects with an error up to 35 m (similar to U.S. TRANSIT). P.P.Dmitriyev, Director of the Institute, was awarded the USSR Lenin Prize for the development of this system.
CHAYKA mobile version (with coverage of 1000 km from the master station and position accuracy of 50…100 m) was developed, put into operation and then serialized (this system is similar to U.S. LORAN D). Its Chief Designers are B.V.Tkachev and Y.I.Osetrov.

1978. Complexes for synchronizing measurement aids in the course of aircraft flight tests were developed and delivered. Chief Designer is E.I.Bauman.
In order to improve systems checking airspace/space, the common-time system complexes were developed and delivered. Chief Designer is B.N.Balyasnikov.

1979. For Systems detecting nuclear explosions, the high-accuracy meteor-burst equipment was developed and delivered. This equipment can synchronize the sites separated by distance up to 1,800 km with a provision for transmitting service commands. Chief Designer is S.N.Pluzhnikov.

1983. Two modifications of marine automated radio beacons were designed, manufactured and put into operation. Chief Designer is K.K.Khlebnikov.


1984. In order to modernize space-checking system complexes were developed and delivered. Chief Designer is B.N.Balyasnikov.

1986. The CHAYKA Eastern Chain was put into operation. Chief Designers are B.V.Tkachev, S.M.Shargorodsky, B.N.Balyasnikov, V.E.Sokolov.


1990. In connection with creation of satellite navigation systems and further increase of requirements to accuracy and reliability of common-time systems, the Institute developed the State System of Common Time and Standard Frequencies and delivered the proper equipment to the objects (time synchronization accuracy for the receiving sites was no worse than 1 ms). . Chief Designer is A.G.Gevorkyan.

1993. A GLONASS satellite na vigation system was put into operation. With respect to this system, RIRT developed synchronization/check-out/control system and receivers for various users as well. Position accuracy is no more than 50 m in the standard mode and no worse than 1 m in the differential mode. Chief Designers are A.G.Gevorkyan Y.M.Ustinov, I.A.Novikov and I.V.Kudryavtsev.

1995. The Russian/American CHAYKA - LORAN-C radionavigation system was put into operation, thus allowing to increase significantly a coverage of the Bering Sea. Chief Designer is B.N.Balyasnikov.

1996. The CHAYKA Northern Chain was put into operation. Chief Designers are S.M.Shargorodsky, V.E.Sokolov, M.M.Tretyakov, A.R.Okhinchenko.


1998. The common-time system equipment was delivered for joint Russian/Norwegian/American project on launching spacecraft from the platform in the Atlantic ocean ("Sea Launch"). Chief Designer is I.M.Bolotov.

1998. ASN2401 navigation equipment was delivered for ALPHA international space station. Chief Designer is S.V.Filatchenkov.



1999. The tests of modernized VLF radionavigation system (ALPHA) are being continued. Chief Designers are G.V.Golovushkin and S.B.Boloshin. Position accuracy is no worse than1.2…1.5 km over 70 percent of the Earth surface. Simultaneously with putting systems into operation, the user's equipment of various purpose was developed and serialized for such systems as ALPHA, CHAYKA, LORAN-C, GLONASS, GPS (modifications for aircraft, ships, submarines, land mobile objects, geodesy etc.). In total, 32 types of user's equipment for various purposes was developed and put into operation. Chief Designers are A.M.Shiryaeva, Y.K.Korovin, V.G.Spalving, N.G.Yakovlev, V.I.Khimulin, Y.S.Sinitsin, P.A.Litvin, L.I.Yankovsky, V.M.Ryzhov, P.I.Brodsky, Y.M.Ustinov, I.V.Kudryavtsev, I.A.Novikov and B.V.Shebshevich.

For various years, A.S.Makyshev (1956-1967), P.P.Dmitriyev (1967-1984) and Y.G.Gouzhva (1984-1997) headed the Institute. Now S.B.Pisarev is at the head of RIRT.


For the time of the Institute's activities, its staff members were awarded two USSR Lenin Prizes, 16 USSR State Prizes, one USSR State Prizes of the Council of Ministers, 43 honorific titles, 501 governmental decorations.

When developing radionavigation systems, extensive theoretical/experimental studies were performed in LF- and VLF bands of radio waves, including water areas of wold oceans and permafrost area. These studies allowed to solve problems related to the prediction of radio wave propagation condition in order to improve a position accuracy. In the course of establishing radionavigation systems an entire number of original scientific-technological solutions was proposed. These solutions protected by the realization of signal frequency/time separation when switching high-power circuits in transmitters; structure definition of signals emitted; optimization of equipment functioning for various users.
Of special importance was success in applied investigations related to the frequency standard development. The frequency stability of land frequency standards was improved from 1*10-8(1957) to 1*10-14 (1990); for space frequency standards this parameter was improved from 1*10-9 (1965) to 5*10 -13 (1993).
Engineering solution used in the Institute's developments were protected by 3,143 inventor's certificates.
Scientists' school is established in the Institute. Since 1962, the graduate studentship functions, since 1965 - the Council of Scientists. For these years, 148 specialists received an academic degree of candidate in technical sciences and 13 an academic degree of doctor in technical sciences. Since 1965, the Institute participates in publishing scientific/technical magazine "Voprosy radioelektroniki" (Problems in Radio Electronics"). Since 1992, RIRT issues its own magazine - "Radionavigatsiya i vremya" ("Radionavigation and Time").

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