India’s very own Navigation System : Goodbye GPS

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India's navigation systemWith the launch of India’s first navigational satellite, ISRO’s Navigation System is all set to free us from the sole dependance on GPS  for finding our way through the streets of our country. Here are few must-know facts about our very own Navigation System.

#1 Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), developed by ISRO, is India’s independent regional navigation satellite system.

With the IRNSS, India joins the league of the select few countries having independent navigation systems. America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian GLONASS are the only fully operational Global Navigation Systems. China is in the process of expanding its regional Beidou navigation system into the global Compass navigation system by 2020.The European Union’s Galileo positioning system is in initial deployment phase, scheduled to be fully operational by 2020 at the earliest. France and Japan are also in the process of developing regional navigation systems.

#2 The IRNSS  is designed to provide position accuracy better than 10m over India and the region extending about 1500 kms around India. It will provide an accurate real time Position, Navigation and Time (PNT) services to users on a variety of platforms with 24×7 service availability under all weather conditions.

#3 This indigenous navigation system will ease India’s dependence on America’s GPS and even to some extent on Russia’s Glonass as access to these systems are not guaranteed in hostile situations.

#4 The IRNSS would provide two services, with the Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use and the Restricted Service, encrypted one, for authorised users (military).

#5 The IRNSS system mainly consists of three components, namely, Space Segment (Constellation of Satellites & Signal–In–Space), Ground Segment and User Segment. A number of ground stations responsible for the generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite control, satellite ranging and monitoring, etc., have been established in as many as 15 locations across the country.

#6 IRNSS-1A, the first satellite in the IRNSS, was successfully launched by PSLV on 1st July 2013 . This is the twenty third consecutively successful mission of PSLV. On 17th July The satellite was placed in its designated Geo-Synchrnous Orbit.

#7 IRNSS constellation consists of seven satellites. Three Satellites will be placed in the Geostationary Equatorial orbit and two satellites each will be placed in the Geosynchronous orbit (GSO). The entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed by 2015-16.

#8 While other global systems have their satellites placed in middle earth, at a height of about 20,000 km, ISRO chose to go up another 15,000 km. In that orbit, choosing how to place a minimum number of satellites at what degrees so as to cover the entire Indian region was a challenge and the team went through about 100,000 combinations.

#9 The navigation software for IRNSS has being indigenously developed at ISRO Satellite Centre.

#10 The IRNSS has been built at a modest cost of Rs 1,420 crore. The cost effectiveness of the entire program has been internationally lauded.

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