ISRO’s IRNSS-1G navigation satellite: Five facts about India’s own GPS

When the IRNSS-1G becomes operational in about a month’s time, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) would offer services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management etc.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 28, 2016 10:10 pm
ISRO, ISRO rocket launch, ISRO rocket, ISRO navigation satellite, ISRO launch, ISRO news, IRNSS The seventh satellite in the series – IRNSS-1G – weighing 1,425 kg is expected to soon join the other six. (Courtesy of MIB India on Twitter)

India on Thursday completed its landmark mission for a regional navigational system on par with US-based GPS with the successful launch of IRNSS-1G, the seventh and last in the constellation of satellites that make up the system.

When the IRNSS-1G becomes operational in about a month’s time, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) would offer services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aide for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers.

READ: India completes navigation system with launch of 7th satellite, PM Modi congratulates ISRO

Here are five interesting facts about India’s own GPS system: 

1. The satellite IRNSS-1G (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1G) is part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.

2. Till date, India has launched six regional navigational satellites (IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID, 1E and 1F). Though the full system comprises nine satellites — seven in orbit and two on the ground as stand-by, the navigation services could be made operational with four satellites, ISRO officials said earlier.

3. Each satellite costs about Rs.150 crore while the PSLV-XL version rocket costs about Rs.130 crore. The seven rockets would entail an outlay of about Rs.910 crore. The first satellite, IRNSS-1A, was launched in July 2013, the second in April 2014, the third on October 2014, the fourth in March 2015, and the fifth and sixth on January 20 and March 10 this year. Once the regional navigation system is in place, India does not need to depend upon other platforms.

4. The IRNSS is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), Glonass of Russia, and Galileo of Europe as well as China’s Beidou. While GPS and Glonass are fully functional global systems, the Chinese and the Japanese systems are offering regional coverage and Europe’s Galileo is yet to be operational.

5. The IRNSS will provide two types of services — standard positioning service and restricted service. The former is provided to all users and the latter is an encrypted service for authorised users.

(With inputs from IANS)

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  1. Deven Dalal
    Apr 29, 2016 at 1:59 am
    ISRO staff -------So very proud of you. Jai Hind. Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
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    1. Ravindra Kant
      Apr 29, 2016 at 6:01 am
      Congratulations....all the teams on this successful journey so far and I wish all the best for the future...Kudos,...Its motivating..Jai Hind
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        Siva
        Apr 28, 2016 at 3:48 pm
        6th fact, largely glossed over in all the news articles about NAVIC: No existing GPS receiver, including those in phones, vehicle navigation systems, recreational navigation gear, etc., can receive and decode the NAVIC SPS data on the L5 band at 1176.45 MHz. It's basically incompatible with GPS, and nobody will be able to use it until inexpensive commercial receivers become available 10-15 years from now (the design lifetime of the satellites is only 10 years).
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          Siva
          Apr 29, 2016 at 3:55 am
          It is even wiser to read and understand the technical specs from publicly-available sources. You will have obtained the correct answer as far back as ten years ago (2006), rather than waiting for 2 months from now. Yes, it's a huge disadvantage being technically illiterate like Pappu, as you're doubtless about to find out.
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            Siva
            Apr 29, 2016 at 3:47 am
            The specs of both the GPS C/A L1- and L5-band signals and IRNSS(NAVIC) SPS L5-band signals are in the public domain - just google it and read it. Even simpler, just use any consumer GPS receiver like a Garmin and see if registers and displays information from any IRNSS satellite . NAVIC-compliant receivers built to the specs defined by ISRO will be available in the next year or so, but only about 200-odd units are being built initially for testing. The size and price haven't been announced - they may be the size of a tabletop radio of the '70s, and cost several lakhs to 10s of lakhs each. If you're looking for an inexpensive consumer-grade appliance like a watch, smartphone, vehicle navigator or similar that can pick up and use the NAVIK signals, that's at least 10-15 years away at the earliest.
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