With the launch of its 7th and final satellite in a series India has moved closer to realising its own navigation satellite system similar to the American Global Positioning System (GPS), or the UK’s SatNav.
ISRO's PSLV-C33, carrying India's seventh navigation satellite IRNSS-1G, recently blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, off the Bay of Bengal coast located in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday (28th April). It will be called NAVIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), as the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced after the launch.
PM Modi who watched the launch on a live video link congratulated scientists at ISRO and said the system will make India independent in navigation and the world will know the system as NAVIC.
“We are now one of five countries with our own navigational system. Today we are free of dependence on other countries for navigation. Our planes will be able to land with ease and accuracy, we can plan disaster relief better and with our own technology,” a proud Mr. Modi said.
IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) will be to the subcontinent what the GPS is to its users worldwide. The IRNSS comprising the seven satellites will offer services with much 'better accuracy' and targeted position in navigation on par with the Global Positioning System of the United States.
The IRNSS 1G, was launched into a sub geosynchronous transfer orbit and with this launch, the IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is now complete.
The seventh and final satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite is expected to provide position accuracy of better than 20 m over Indian region and also an area extending up to 1,500 sq. km around India. It will drive both everyday uses as a 24/7 standard service for air, sea, ship transport among others and will also be used for military and missile-related applications as an encrypted and restricted service.
Fully equipped ground control Centre has been established in Bengaluru and tracking stations across the country have been put in place.
The system is similar to the Global Positioning System (GPS) operated by the United States with 24 satellites and the Glonass, Galileo and BeiDou systems of Russia, UK and China respectively.