Less than a month after successfully landing its maiden spacecraft to Mars, India launched its third navigational satellite IRNSS-IC on board PSLV-C26 from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Thursday.
Originally the satellite was to be launched on October 10 but was put off because of a technical snag in the telemetry system.
Thursday's launch used the PSLV-XL configuration the most powerful version of PSLV currently flying. Science and technology minister Dr Jitendra Singh was present during the launch.
PSLV C26 successfully injects navigation satellite IRNSS 1C into the designated orbit. pic.twitter.com/ZJN8XxFTp6— ISRO (@isro) October 15, 2014
"Satellite navigation is a domain which is constantly evolving. Our Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System will be a regional system, dedicated for usage in Indian main land and 1500 km around. Initially it would be a constellation of seven satellites at an altitude of 36,000 km, distributed in geostationary and inclined orbits. The accuracy is expected to be 10-20 meters depending on the application," Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan told HT before the launch.
Satellite navigation has manifold applications, he said, adding: “It has wide applications in maritime, aviations, automobiles. It also finds applications in surveying, mapping, archaeology etc. It is also useful for disaster management operations and tracking services."
Bearing similarity to that of America’s Global Positioning System (GPS), the Indian satellite is supposed to transmit data continuously that will allow correctly equipped receivers to establish their location with considerable precision.
The requirement of such a navigation system is driven by the fact that access to Global Navigation Satellite Systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations. The IRNSS would provide two services: the Standard Positioning Service is open for all the users and the Restricted Service for authorised users.
Nozzle End Segment of the first stage of PSLV C26 photographed along with the launch pedestal pic.twitter.com/wkSEWUDtSm— ISRO (@isro) October 10, 2014
IRNSS comprises a space segment and a ground segment. The IRNSS space segment consists of seven satellites with three satellites in geostationary orbit and four in inclined geosynchronous orbit.
IRNSS ground segment is responsible for navigation parameter generation and transmission, satellite control.
IRNSS-1B was launched in April this year. Its predecessor IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013. IRNSS IA and IRNSS IB have already started from their designated orbital slot after extensive on orbit test and evaluation to confirm their satisfactory performance.