The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that is developing the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System — the country’s own version of the GPS system having a constellation of seven satellites — will also be building four more satellites that will act as a backup to this constellation. These backup satellites are being built at Space Applications Centre (SAC) at Ahmedabad.
“We are building four more satellites that will act as a back up to the seven satellites of the IRNSS. Each individual satellite of this system can easily last for 7-15 years, but we are not taking any chances and building a back-up,” said Tapan Misra, director of SAC, while talking to The Indian Express.
IRNSS is India’s own regional navigation satellite system that will provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and a region extending 1,500-kilometres around India. This system is expected to replace GPS of the US.
The IRNSS system that is expected to be fully deployed by July 2016 will consist of three satellites in the GEO (Geostationary) orbit and four satellites in the GSO (Geosynchronous) orbit, approximately 36,000-kilometres altitude above the earth’s surface.
The first four satellites developed by SAC – IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C and ID – have already been launched and are in orbit while IRNSS- 1E, 1F have been dispatched for being integrated with spacecraft. “The IRNSS-1E is expected to be launched later this month, while we are currently working towards integrating the seventh satellite of this system at SAC,” Misra added.
IRNSS will provide services like terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, help in vehicle tracking and fleet management, disaster management and navigational aid for hikers and travellers among others.