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Navigation Satellite IRNSS-1B Successfully Launched
Apr 05, 2014

On 4 April, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched IRNSS-1B, the second navigation satellite among the seven satellites that will eventually constitute the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

PSLV-C24 carrying IRNSS-1B blasted off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 5.14 p.m. 19 minutes after liftoff, PSLV-C24 injected the 1,432 kg IRNSS-1B into a preliminary orbit. 

While the targeted perigee (satellite's nearest distance to earth) was 284 km, the mission achieved 283 km. In case of apogee (satellite's maximum distance from earth), the target was 20,650 km (plus minus 675km), and the mission achieved 20,630 km. The mission also achieved the correct inclination of 19.2, differing only in the second decimal place. 

Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan took control of the satellite after it was placed in the preliminary orbit. MCF will perform initial orbit raising manoeuvres with two manoeuvers at perigee and three manoeuvers at apogee. The satellite will be placed into a sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit (sub-GTO). 

IRNSS System: Once completed, the IRNSS system will offer navigational services, for both civilian and defense purposes, in India and also 1,500 km beyond its borders. 

ISRO will launch two more satellites—1C and 1D this year taking the total to four satellites. So ISRO will finally have a working system in place and can then measure its accuracy. ISRO has programme to launch another three IRNSS satellites at the beginning of 2015. So, by the middle of 2015 all the seven satellites will be in orbit. 

PSLV XL Version: This was the 26th flight of ISRO's primary launcher, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. ISRO used an XL configuration of PSLV to launch IRNSS-1B. XL configuration allows higher payload and can inject satellites into higher orbits. The version was earlier used for critical missions like Chandrayaan-1, Mars Orbiter Mission and the first IRNSS satellite IRNSS-1A. IRNSS-1A has already started functioning, having been launched in July last year.

IRNSS would help in terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture and others.

IRNSS is equivalent to Global Positioning System of the United States. Presently, the US’ Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russia’s GLONASS are the effective navigation systems worldwide. After the US, Russia, Europe, China and Japan, India would become the sixth country to aspire for such a system. 


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