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ISRO to launch navigation satellite from Sriharikota today: All you need to know

ISRO will launch a navigation satellite from the Sriharikota space centre at 7pm on Thursday.

science Updated: Aug 31, 2017 11:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ISRO,Navigation satellite,IRNSS-1H
The 29-hour countdown for the launch of India's eighth navigation satellite IRNSS-1H began at 2pm on Wednesday at the Sriharikota rocket port.(PTI Photo)

The Indian Space Research Organisation will launch its eighth navigation satellite IRNSS-1H on Thursday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

“The 29-hr countdown operations of the PSLV-C39/IRNSS-1H mission have started on Wednesday at 14:00 hrs IST,” the space agency said.

The satellite, which is meant to be a replacement for IRNSS-1A, will be carried by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket that will lift-off at about 7pm on Thursday, an official said.

IRNSS-1H launch

1H will replace IRNSS-1A, the first satellite of the system, after its atomic clocks failed. The rubidium atomic clocks are important to provide exact locational data and every satellite has three such clocks. A total of 27 clocks were supplied by the same vendor.

This over 1400kg spacecraft is India’s first satellite built by the private sector and supervised by ISRO. A consortium led by Bengaluru-based Alpha Design Technologies built the satellite as 70 ISRO scientists supervised it, an NDTV report says.

IRNSS-1H at clean room with one of its Solar Panels Deployed. (ISRO website)

PSLV rocket

The four stage/engine PSLV-C39 rocket, which will carry the satellite, is 44.4 metres tall and weighs 321 tonne at the lift-off stage.

The launch vehicle will use the ‘XL’ version of PSLV equipped with six strap-ons, each carrying 12 tons of propellant

Around 19 minutes and 25 seconds after the lift-off, the rocket will sling the satellite at an altitude of around 507km.

What is a navigation satellite?

A satellite navigation is based on a network of satellites that transmit radio signals to determine the geospatial location of the receivers with high accuracy.

The satellite systems can be used for providing position, navigation or for tracking the position of something fitted with a receiver.

What is India’s navigation satellite system?

India’s Rs 1420-crore satellite system called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System: Navigation with Indian Constellation (IRNSS: NavIC) consists of seven satellites in orbit but two others have been used as substitutes. One of the substitutes is the IRNSS-1H.

The IRNSS programme is similar to the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS), which has 24 satellites. Other similar programmes are Glonass, Galileo, and BeiDou systems of Russia, Europe and China.

Other navigation satellites
  • IRNSS-1G on April 28, 2016
  • IRNSS-1F on March 10, 2016
  • IRNSS-1E on January 20, 2016
  • IRNSS-1D on March 28, 2015
  • IRNSS-1C on October 16, 2014
  • IRNSS-1B on April 4, 2014
  • IRNSS-1A on July 1, 2013

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) provides two types of services:

1) Standard Positioning Service: Available to all users

2) Restricted service: Encrypted service available only to authorised users such as for defence forces, says The Indian Express.

What are the uses of navigation satellites?

NavIC is useful for fishermen to reach the potential fishing area. They can also get alert messages about bad weather conditions, high waves or when they approach international maritime boundary line. These services are provided through a software application on a smartphone.

The Indian space agency also said NavIC is useful for merchant ships for navigation and for search and rescue operations.

In the road transport sector, NavIC helps commuters to traverse distances and also enable transport operators to track their vehicles

(With inputs from agencies)

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 10:38 IST