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India Successfully Launched its Third Navigational Satellite
Oct 16, 2014

India launched its third navigational satellite IRNSS-IC on board PSLV-C26 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh in the early hours (1:32 a.m.) on 16 October. The satellite went into a very precise orbit with a perigee of 282 km and an apogee of 20,670 km. Originally the satellite was to be launched on October 10 but was put off because of a technical snag in the telemetry system. This launch used the PSLV-XL configuration the most powerful version of PSLV currently flying. 

Satellite navigation is a domain which is constantly evolving. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System will be a regional system, dedicated for usage in Indian mainland and 1500 km around. Initially it would be a constellation of seven satellites at an altitude of 36,000 km, distributed in geostationary and inclined orbits. The accuracy is expected to be 10-20 meters depending on the application.

Satellite navigation has manifold applications. It has wide applications in maritime, aviation, automobiles. It also finds applications in surveying, mapping, archaeology etc. It is also useful for disaster management operations and tracking services.

Bearing similarity to that of America’s Global Positioning System (GPS), the Indian satellite is supposed to transmit data continuously that will allow correctly equipped receivers to establish their location with considerable precision.  

The requirement of such a navigation system is driven by the fact that access to Global Navigation Satellite Systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations. The IRNSS would provide two services: the Standard Positioning Service is open for all the users and the Restricted Service for authorised users.

IRNSS comprises a space segment and a ground segment. The IRNSS space segment consists of seven satellites with three satellites in geostationary orbit and four in inclined geosynchronous orbit. IRNSS ground segment is responsible for navigation parameter generation and transmission, satellite control.

Before this launch, IRNSS-1B was launched in April this year. Its predecessor IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013. IRNSS IA and IRNSS IB have already started from their designated orbital slot after extensive on orbit test and evaluation to confirm their satisfactory performance.


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