... a study in kinematic GNSS

Comparison of the GNSSs

Below you find a general comparison of the four GNSSes GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and Compass. The comparison does not correspond to the current status of the systems, it only provide an indication of the many differencies that (will) exist between the systems.
The list is far from complete and will be extended when time allows. You can always send me suggestions to help the list grow.

Please see the linear combinations page for basic linear combinations for the GPS and Galileo signals

  GPS GLONASS Galileo Compass
SV identification PRN no. Carrier no. PRN no.
PRN codes Variable Constant Variable
Carrier frequencies [MHz] Constant

L1: 1575.42

L2: 1227.6

L5: 1176.45
GL1: 1602.0

GL2: 1246

GL3: 1201.5

E1: 1575.42

E6: 1278.75

E5b: 1207.14

E5a: 1176.45

B1-2: 1589.742

B1: 1561.098

B3: 1268.52

B2: 1207.14

Signalling CDMA FDMA
Mean altitude [km] 20183.2 19130.2 23616.1 21500.0
Orbital Planes 6 3 3
SV spacing Uneven Even Even
Inclination [degrees] 55 64.8 56
Planned SVs in orbit 24 MEO 24 MEO 30 MEO 27 MEO, 3 IGSO, 5 GEO
Currently operational SVs in orbit 31 9 1
SV types of operational SVs currently 15 IIA, 12 IIR, and 4 IIR-M
Orbital Period 11h 58m 11h 15m 40s 14h 22m
Ground Track Repetition [SID] 1 8 10
Ephemerides representation Kepler parameters Pos. Vel., Acc. in ECEF coord.
Almanac length [bits] 120 152
Operated by Military Military Commercial
Timing UTC (USNO), continuos UTC (SU), leap secs. inserted GST
Reference Frame WGS84 PZ-90 GTRF
SV Clocks Cs, Rb PHM, Rb
No. of SV pr. launch 1 3 6
Launch vehicles Ariane 5: 6 satellites
Proton: 6 satellites
Soyuz 2 ST: 1-2 satellites
Zenit: 1-2 possibility for 3-4 satellites
ChangZheng 3A or long March-3A
Launch site Cape Canaveral, USA Baikonur, Cosmodrome, Kazakstan Xichang
Services Open, SPS
Authorized, PPS
OS Open service
PPS Authorized