Why in News:
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is working on a series of improvements to the NavIC, or India’s equivalent of the Global Positioning System (GPS), so that more people are motivated to install it and use it. Plans are also afoot to make its reach global rather than circumscribe it to India and a limited territory around.
- NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is a constellation of seven satellites that is akin to the American GPS, the European Galileo and the Russian GLONASS, and can be used to track location.
- IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
- In 2016, with the last launch of the constellation’s satellite, IRNSS was renamed Navigation Indian Constellation (NAVIC).
- 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.
What are the new changes
- A major forthcoming change is to add the L1 band into NavIC. This bandwidth is part of the GPS and is the most used for civilian navigational use.
- The other major step would be to increase the safety of the signals.
- There’s Long Code and Short Code- Currently (NavIC) only provides short code. This has to become Long Code for the use of the strategic sector. This prevents the signal from being breached.
- To make NavIC truly global like GPS, more satellites would need to be placed in an orbit closer to earth than the current constellation.
- Right now, NavIC’s reach is only 1,500 km beyond Indian territory. But for Indian ships and airplanes travelling beyond that satellites in Medium Earth Orbit are needed.
- Currently, NavIC satellites orbit earth in a geostationary or geosynchronous (GEO) orbit, or about 36,000 km from earth. MEO orbits occupy a space between GEO and Low Earth Orbit (LEO), or about 250-2,000 km from earth
- 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.