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PSLV C-31 Successfully Launches IRNSS 1-E
Jan 21, 2016

PSLV-C31 successfully put into orbit IRNSS-1E, the fifth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) after its successful launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), SHAR, Sriharikota, on 20 January.

  • PSLV-C31 for the 11th time used ‘XL’ version of PSLV. 

  • Some 19 minutes after it lifted off from Second Launch Pad of the SDSC, PSLV-C31 placed the satellite in precise orbit. 

  • IRNSS-1E, with a liftoff mass of 1425 kg, carried navigation payload and ranging payload. 

  • The ranging payload of IRNSS-1E consists of a C-band transponder which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. 

  • IRNSS-1E also carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging. 

  • The configuration of IRNSS-1E is similar to that of IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C and 1D launched by PSLV-C22, PSLV-C24, PSLV-C26 and PSLV-C27 in July 2013, April 2014, October 2014 and March 2015 respectively. 

Besides the deployment of the constellation of seven satellites, the ground segment comprises 13 Indian Range and Integrity Monitoring Stations, an IRNSS Network Timing Centre, an ISRO Navigation Centre and a Space Control Facility. 

  • IRNSS, an independent regional navigation satellite system, is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary. 

  • The system is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metre in the primary service area. 

  • Two more navigation satellites will be launched soon to complete the launch of seven satellites required for a fully functional system. 

  • The IRNSS system also includes two satellites on the ground as stand-by.

  • IRNSS system was unique in the sense that it comprises of only seven satellites while other similar systems in the world have more than 20 satellites.

  • Other systems are global, the Indian system is regional in nature. 

  • Once fully operational, the IRNSS will provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km. 

  • The IRNSS will provide two types of services—standard positioning service and restricted service. The former is provided to all users whereas the latter is an encrypted service for authorised users.

The IRNSS is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), Glonass of Russia, and Galileo of Europe, China’s Beidou. While GPS and Glonass are fully functional global systems, the Chinese and the Japanese systems are offering regional coverage whereas Europe’s Galileo is yet to be operational.


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