SRIHARIKOTA: India on Thursday afternoon successfully put into orbit its seventh and
final navigation satellite - IRNSS-1G - with its own rocket in copy-book
With this, India successfully completed putting into
orbit all the seven navigation satellites to complete the system in the
Exactly at 12.50 p.m. the PSLV rocket standing 44.4 metres
tall and weighing 320 tonnes tore into the afternoon skies with fierce
orange flames at its tail.
Gathering speed every second, the
rocket raced towards the heavens amidst the cheers of ISRO officials
and the media team assembled at the rocket port here.
rocket mission control room, scientists were glued to their computer
screens watching the rocket escaping the earth's gravitational pull.
Just over 20 minutes into the flight, the PSLV rocket ejected its sole passenger - IRNSS-1F - at an altitude of 488.9 km.
Soon after this, the satellite's solar panels were deployed.
The satellite's control was then taken over by the Mission Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan in Karnataka.
The MCF will manage the satellite's orbit raising operations firing the on-board motors till it is placed in its slotted orbit.
put, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is similar
to the GPS (global positioning system) of the US, 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 offer regional coverage and Europe's Galileo is yet to
India will formally join the select group of
nations owing such system once IRNSS is declared operational after
checking the systems - space (satellites), ground (ground stations) and
the user-end signal receivers.
Only after the system is declared
operational, will user-end signal receiver makers seriously get into the
manufacture of equipment for use at the retail end, industry officials
According to Indian space agency the applications of
IRNSS are: terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, vehicle tracking
and fleet management, terrestrial navigation for hikers and travellers,
disaster management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and
geodetic data capture and visual and voice navigation for drivers.
In other words, IRNSS could be said to be the "Indian GPS".
Apart from the civilian applications, the IRNSS will be used for defence purposes as well.
after the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1G satellite was ejected by the Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C33) rocket, scientists at the mission
control centre clapped their hands happily.
"The launch was
succesfull," ISRO chairman A.S.Kiran Kumar said soon after. The Indian
Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will raise the satellite to its home
slot over the next couple of days.
The satellite, with a life-span of 12 years, has two payloads for navigation and ranging.
navigation payload of IRNSS-1G will transmit signals to the users on
the L5-band and S-band. A highly accurate rubidium atomic clock is part
of the navigation payload.
The ranging payload consists of a
C-band transponder (automatic receivers and transmitters of radio
signals) which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the
An Indian-owned satellite navigation system is crucial
to get positional accuracy during war or a war-like situation as the
country may be denied such information by countries owing similar
systems during such times.
The system will provide accurate
position information service to users across the country and the region,
extending up to an area of 1,500 km. The full system comprises of nine
satellites -- seven in orbit and two on the ground as stand-by.
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 total project cost including other facilities is around Rs.1,420 crore, said ISRO officials.
Indian system provides positional accuracy of 10 metres. For civilian
usage to bloom and costs to come down, more manufacturers have to start
making the navigation signal receivers. That will happen once the IRNSS
is formally declared operational," A.S.Ganeshan, retired programme
director of ISRO's Satellite Navigation Progamme, told IANS.
said once the IRNSS is ready then there will be more development of
application software that would be useful for different segments.
Indian government should mandate the use of indigenous satellite
navigation systems by various government agencies and the emergency
service providers so that the signal receiver makers are enthused to get
into accelerated production mode," Ganeshan added.
He said once the mandatory usage is there, more software applications could be developed, thereby widening the usage.
with him, S. Purushotham, director, Accord Software & Systems Pvt
Ltd told IANS: "If there is a mandate then it will give a big fillip for
the receiver makers' Make in India efforts."
"The IRNSS is a new
system. We will wait and see how the market evolves so that we can
decide on getting into manufacture of the receivers," S.Rangarajan, CEO
of Chennai-based Data Patterns (India) Pvt Ltd, told IANS.
ISRO official told IANS that it may take three to four months for the
space agency to check and cross-check all the systems before IRNSS could
be d eclared operational
The first satellite IRNSS-1A was
launched in July 2013, the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014, the third on
October 2014, the fourth in March 2015, and the fifth, sixth and seventh
on January 20, March 10, and April 28 2016.
Once IRNSS passes all the tests, India need not be dependent on other platforms.
to ISRO, even with the operationalisation of six IRNSS satellites, the
proof of concept of an independent regional navigation satellite system
over India has been demonstrated for the targeted position accuracy of
better than 20 metres over 24 hours of the day.
With the operationalisation of the full system, far better positional accuracy will be provided, ISRO said.
space agency officials said IRNSS system is unique as it consist only
seven satellites while other systems in the world have more than 20
However, while most other systems are global, the Indian system is regional in nature.
IRNSS will provide two types of services -- standard positioning
service and restricted service. The former is provided to all users and
the later is an encrypted service for authorised users.