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  • 22 Nov 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Vice President has suggested ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) make Indian regional navigation satellite system-Navigation in Indian Constellation (NaVIC) for global use.

Key Points

  • Background:
    • In 2006, the project was approved by the Government of India and was expected to be completed and implemented by 2015-16.
    • The constellations' first satellite (IRNSS-1A) was launched on 1st July 2013 and the seventh and final satellite (IRNSS-1G) was launched on 28th April 2016.
      • With the last launch of the constellation's satellite (IRNSS-1G), IRNSS was renamed Navigation Indian Constellation (NaVIC) by India’s Prime Minister.
  • About:
    • Presently, IRNSS consists of eight satellites, three satellites in geostationary orbit and five satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
      • IRNSS-1I is expected to replace IRNSS-1A, which was rendered ineffective after its three rubidium atomic clocks failed.
    • The main objective is to provide reliable position, navigation and timing services over India and its neighbourhood.
      • It works just like the established and popular US Global Positioning System (GPS) but within a 1,500-km radius over the sub-continent.
      • Technically satellite systems with more satellites provide more accurate positioning information.
        • However, compared to GPS (24 satellites) which has a position accuracy of 20-30 metres, the NavIC is able to pinpoint location to an estimated accuracy of under 20 metres.
    • It has been certified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a global body for coordinating mobile telephony standards.
    • It was recognised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) for operation in the Indian Ocean Region in 2020.
    • ISRO is working to build the next generation of IRNSS satellites with indigenous atomic clocks and enhancements to navigation services.
  • Potential Uses:
    • Terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation;
    • Disaster management;
    • Vehicle tracking and fleet management (especially for mining and transportation sector);
    • Integration with mobile phones;
    • Precise timing (as for ATMs and power grids);
    • Mapping and geodetic data capture.
  • Significance:
    • It gives real time information for 2 services i.e standard positioning service open for civilian use and Restricted service which may be encrypted for authorised users like for military.
    • India became one of the 5 countries having their own navigation system like GPS of USA, GLONASS of Russia, Galileo of Europe and BeiDou of China. So India's dependence on other countries for navigation purposes reduces.
    • It will help scientific & technological advancement in India. It is important for the country’s sovereignty and strategic requirements.
    • In April 2019, the government made NavIC-based vehicle trackers mandatory for all commercial vehicles in the country in accordance with the Nirbhaya case verdict.
    • Also, Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled mobile chipsets supporting NavIC
    • Further with extensive coverage, one of the stated future uses of the project includes sharing of the project with the SAARC nations. This will help in integrating the regional navigation system further and a diplomatic goodwill gesture from India towards countries of the region.

GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN)

  • This is a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) implemented jointly with Airport Authority of India (AAI).
  • The system will be interoperable with other international SBAS systems and provide seamless navigation across regional boundaries.
    • The GAGAN Signal-In-Space (SIS) is available through GSAT-8 and GSAT-10.
  • Objectives:
    • To provide Satellite-based Navigation services with accuracy and integrity required for civil aviation applications.
    • To provide better Air Traffic Management over Indian Airspace.

Source: PIB

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