Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) – NavIC
- 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).
Why was NavIC developed?
- NavIC was developed partly because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations, as happened to the Indian military in 1999 when the United States denied the Indian request for Global Positioning System (GPS) data Kargil region.
- India could have had access to vital information had the US shared its GPS. Therefore, the Indian Government approved the project in 2013.
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 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.
- NavIC is considered to be at par with US-based GPS, Russia’s Glonass and Galileo developed by Europe. As far as the accuracy is concerned, the system is designed to provide an absolute position accuracy of fewer than 10 metres on the Indian landmass and less than 20 metres in the Indian Ocean.
- 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
Other Similar Systems
- Four global Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) systems: GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (EU), BeiDou (China).
- Two regional systems – QZSS (Japan) and NavIC (India).
Why in News?
- The Department of Space has announced that NavIC will soon be integrated into Aadhaar enrolment kits. Currently the Aadhaar enrolment kits that are used to collect and verify personal details are linked to GPS.
- The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) was already utilising NavIC as an alert dissemination system for major natural disasters like landslips, earthquakes, floods, and avalanches.
- The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information System (INCOIS) relies on it to broadcast cyclones, high waves, and tsunamis alert messages to fishermen venturing into the deep sea.