India to have its own version of GPS in 2015

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 01, 2015 10:26 IST

India is all set to have its own navigation system in 2015 which would be a regional version of the Global Positioning System(GPS) of the United States.

The GPS is a space-based satellite navigation system managed by the United States that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The system provides critical capabilities to military, civil and commercial users around the world. It is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.

“We will be completing the IRNSS (Indian Regional Satellite Navigation System) constellation by launching four more satellites and operationalise the navigation system," outgoing Isro chairman Dr K Radhakrishnan told HT. “ The requirement of such a navigation system is needed because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems can be restricted and become disturbed in hostile situations. The IRNSS would provide two services, with the Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use and the Restricted Service, encrypted one, for authorised users (military).”

Maintaining that satellite navigation was a domain that was constantly evolving he said: “ 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 7 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.”

With this India will join a select group of countries including US, China and Russia who have their navigational system. Russia had recently launched a new generation Glonass-K navigation satellite.

Besides the completion of IRNSS series, Dr Radhakrishnan said there were many other important launches lined up for next year: “ There would be a launch of GSAT 6 using GSLV, launch of ASTROSAT using PSLV and launch of a heavy communication satellite GSAT 15 carrying 24 Ku band transponders.”

Commercial launch of a few foreign satellites including three UK satellites are targeted for January 2015 to March 2016, he said.

Among other things, ground testing of high power cryogenic engine for LVM 3(GSLV Mk III) for development of advanced communication satellites, remote sensing satellites and Indian lander would be progressing all through 2015.

“Research and development, technical infrastructure development would continue next year. Enhancing space applications would be an important target for the coming months”

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