India’s push for NavIC
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) – NavIC
- IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
- In April 2016, with the last launch of the constellation’s satellite, IRNSS was renamed Navigation Indian Constellation (NAVIC).
Range of NavIC
- It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area.
- Beyond that lies an Extended Service Area, that can extend up to the edges of the area enclosed by the rectangle imagined by latitudes 30 degrees South and 50 degrees North, and longitudes 30 degrees East and 130 degrees East.
- IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users.
- The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.
- The space segment consists of the IRNSS constellation of eight satellites (with one being a replacement). Three satellites are located in the geostationary orbit and the remaining four are located in geosynchronous orbits, with the desired inclination and equatorial crossings in two different planes.
- NavIC uses dual frequency bands, which improves accuracy of dual frequency receivers by enabling them to correct atmospheric errors through simultaneous use of two frequencies. It also helps in better reliability and availability because the signal from either frequency can serve the positioning requirement equally well.
Applications of IRNSS include:
- Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
- Disaster Management
- Vehicle tracking and fleet management
- Integration with mobile phones
- Precise Timing
- Mapping and Geodetic data capture
- Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
- Visual and voice navigation for drivers
- About 35,786 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, satellites are in geostationary orbit. At any inclination, a geosynchronous orbit synchronizes with the rotation of the Earth. More specifically, the time it takes for the Earth to rotate on its axis is 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds, which is the same as a satellite in a geosynchronous orbit
- While geosynchronous satellites can have any inclination, the key difference to geostationary orbit is the fact that they lie on the same plane as the equator.
- Geostationary orbits fall in the same category as geosynchronous orbits, but it’s parked over the equator. This one special quality makes it unique from geosynchronous orbits.
Why in News:
- India is pushing tech giants to make smartphones compatible with its home-grown navigation system within months, worrying the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi and Apple who fear elevated costs and disruptions as the move requires hardware changes
Why the sudden move?
- The Indian government wants to reduce dependence on foreign systems, including the widely used U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), and says NavIC provides more accurate domestic navigation and that its use would benefit the economy.
- China, the European Union, Japan and Russia have their own global or regional navigation systems to rival GPS. Operational since 2018, NavIC’s uptake is minimal; it is mandated in public vehicle location trackers, for example.
What is India planning to achieve
- India’s space agency has said systems like GPS and Russia’s GLONASS are operated by their respective countries’ defence agencies, making it possible for civilian service to be interrupted.
- NavIC, it says, is fully under the control of the Indian government, which one day wants to make it global like GPS.
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