IRNSS: Part of World Wide Radio Navigation System
- 25 Nov 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
The Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has recognised the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) as a component of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) during its 102nd session held virtually.
- The IMO is the United Nations specialised agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships.
- India has become the fourth country in the world to have its independent regional navigation satellite system recognised by the IMO as a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS).
- The other three countries that have its navigation systems recognised by the IMO are the USA, Russia and China.
- The IMO has accepted IRNSS as an alternative navigation module in Indian waters. It was in use only on a pilot basis earlier but now all merchant vessels are authorised to use it, even small fishing vessels.
- The navigation system can now replace GPS in the Indian Ocean waters upto 1500 km from the Indian boundary.
- IRNSS is a regional and not a global navigation system.
- With the recognition as a component of the WWRNS, the Indian navigation system is similarly placed as Global Positioning System (GPS - USA), most commonly used by marine shipping vessels across the world or the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).
- It is being considered as a significant achievement towards the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.
- Apart from navigational benefits it has strategic importance as it reduces overdependence on the global navigation system.
- Important Navigation Systems:
- USA navigation system: The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that consists of 24 orbiting satellites.
- Glonass is Russian Satellite Navigation System considered as a counterpart to GPS of the USA.
- BeiDou Navigation Satellite System of China: A hybrid constellation consisting of around 30 satellites in three kinds of orbits.
- Galileo is Europe's Global Navigation Satellite System.
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System
- IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
- The main objective is to provide reliable position, navigation and timing services over India and its neighbourhood.
- The IRNSS constellation was named as “NavIC” (Navigation with Indian Constellation) by the Prime Minister.
- NavIC provides two types of services:
- Standard Positioning Service (SPS) is meant for the general public.
- Restricted Service (RS) is an encrypted service meant for authorised users and agencies.
- Unlike the widely used GPS which includes 24 satellites, NavIC has 8 satellites and their range is within India and its adjoining regions extending up to 1,500 km from the country's border.
- Technically satellite systems with more satellites provide more accurate positioning information. However, compared to GPS which has a position accuracy of 20-30 metres, the NavIC is able to pinpoint location to an estimated accuracy of under 20 metres.