ISRO Successfully Launches IRNSS-1I To Replace IRNSS-1A In Indigenous Navigation Satellite Constellation

The Logical Indian Crew

April 12th, 2018

Courtesy: Wikipedia, Geo Spatial World, Times Of India, Financial Express, NDTV | Image Credit: Indian Express (Representational Image)

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has once again made India proud by successfully launching the PSLV-C41 rocket carrying India’s eighth navigation satellite IRNSS-1I from First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC (Satish Dhawan Space Centre), Sriharikota on April 12 at 4:04 am.

Alpha Design Technologies, which is headquartered in Bengaluru, played an important role in the integration of IRNSS-1I satellite.


IRNSS-1I to replace faulty IRNSS-1A

The navigation satellite IRNSS-1I will replace IRNSS-1A, which is India’s first navigation satellite. Three Europe-imported Rubidium atomic clocks of 1RNSS-1A stopped working two years ago. Due to this fault, it was becoming increasingly difficult to measure the precise location data from the satellite, since getting true positional accuracy without the time signal is hard.

Satellite IRNSS-1H, which was earlier meant to replace IRNSS-1A, failed to deploy on 31 August 2017 as the heat shields failed to separate from the 4th stage of the rocket.

IRNSS-1I will add to the constellation of navigation satellites, which is called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). NAVIC is the operational name for IRNSS, which stands for “Navigation with Indian Constellation”.

NAVIC is designed to be an Indian equivalent of America’s Global Positioning System (GPS).


Indigenous navigation system – NAVIC

There is an interesting story behind the conception of the indigenous navigation system. In 1999, during the Kargil war, the Indian military was trying to get the GPS data of the high mountainous region were Pakistani troops were positioned. This GPS data would have provided some vital information, however, the United States denied this access to India. It was at this time that the country realized the importance of having a native navigation system and IRNSS began taking shape.

IRNSS, also called NAVIC is a navigation system developed in India. It is a constellation of seven satellites which helps to provide accurate positioning information to users in India and in regions extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary.

IRNSS provides standard positioning service (SPS) for all users with a position accuracy of better than 20 metres and a restricted service (RS) for authorised users with an accuracy of 10 metres.

This is used for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, vehicle tracking and fleet management, disaster management, mapping and geodetic data capture, visual and voice navigation for drivers. The restricted service is used by the military for missile delivery and navigation and tracking of aircraft.

Currently, only the US and Russia have fully operational GPS systems, while China and Europe are still in the process of deploying their full systems. It is considered to be a great strategic asset to have an indigenous navigation system which is completely under one’s control and command.

The Logical Indian congratulates the scientists and the engineers at ISRO who have put all their knowledge and resources to successfully launch IRNSS-1I, thereby completing the constellation of navigation satellites. It heartening to know that the space agency, which carried the parts of the first sounding rocket on bicycles from one place to another, has now achieved the glorious feat. The Logical Indian commends the work done by the ISRO.

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