A gift to people from scientists: India’s GPS named ‘NAVIC’

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2016 09:13 IST
Bystanders look on as ISRO’s navigation satellite IRNSS-1G, on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C33) is launched from Sriharikota. (AFP)

India’s Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) will be known to the world as NAVIC, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday after the successful launch of IRNSS-1G, the seventh and final satellite of the system.

Modi congratulated the scientists involved in the mission saying,”with this successful launch, we will determine our own paths powered by our technology”.

“The world will know it as Navic.... The new technology will benefit our people, our fishermen. This is a great gift to people from scientists,” Modi said.

When the IRNSS-1G becomes operational in about a month’s time, NAVIC would offer services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aide for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers.

Read | In pics: Inside IRNSS-1G, India’s 7th navigation satellite
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Till date, India has launched six regional navigational satellites (IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID,1E and 1F) as part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.

“The Indian system provides positional accuracy of 10 metres. For civilian usage to bloom and costs to come down, more manufacturers have to start making the navigation signal receivers. That will happen once the IRNSS is formally declared operational,” A S Ganeshan, retired programme director of ISRO’s Satellite Navigation Progamme, told IANS.

Though the full system comprises nine satellites -- seven in orbit and two on the ground as stand-by, the navigation services could be made operational with four satellites, ISRO officials had said earlier.

The first satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013, the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014, the third on October 2014, the fourth in March 2015, and the fifth and sixth on January 20 and March 10, 2016.

Each satellite costs about Rs.150 crore, while the PSLV-XL version rocket costs about Rs.130 crore. The seven rockets would entail an outlay of about Rs.910 crore.

The total project cost including other facilities is around Rs.1,420 crore, said ISRO officials.

An Indian-owned satellite navigation system is crucial to get positional accuracy during war or a war-like situation as the country may be denied such information by countries owing similar systems during such times.

(With agencies)

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