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ISRO launches IRNSS-1I: All you need to know about NavIC, the Indian GPS

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SRIHARIKOTA: In yet another success, the Indian Space Research Organisation on Thursday through its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C41) successfully launched the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1I Navigation Satellite from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. PSLV-C41 lifted off at 4:04 am from the first launch pad. Just over 19 minutes into the flight, the rocket slung IRNSS-1I into the orbit from where the satellite will be taken up to its final position at geo synchronous orbit at a height of 36,000 km.

Here is all you need to know about the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation)

1.) NavIC, earlier the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS, is the Indian ‘GPS’.

2.) The Rs 1,420 crore NavIC consists of nine satellites — seven in orbit and two as substitutes.

3.) The fully operational system is expected to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.

4) The IRNSS-1H satellite launch mission ended in a failure on August 31 last year. The 1,425 kg IRNSS-1I was the second satellite sent up as a replacement for IRNSS-1A and the ninth of the IRNSS satellite series.

5.) Each satellite has three rubidium atomic clocks and a total of 27 clocks for the navigation satellite system (including the standby satellites).

6.) IRNSS-1I carries two types of payloads for navigation and ranging, like its predecessors.

7.) The navigation payload will transmit navigation service signals to the users, while the ranging payload facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite.

8.) IRNSS-1I also carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging.

9.) NavIC provides two types of services — standard positioning service for all users; and restricted service which will be an encrypted service for only authorised users.

10.) According to ISRO, NavIC is useful for fishermen to reach potential fishing areas. The fishermen can get alert messages through a software application on a smart phone. These alerts can be related to bad weather, high waves or when they approach the international maritime boundary line.

11.) The Indian space agency also said NavIC is useful for merchant ships in their navigation and also during search and rescue operations.

12.) In the road transport sector, NavIC helps commuters to traverse distances and also enables transport operators to track their vehicles.

13.) The navigation system is also helpful for railways in tracking trains and also giving an alert in the case of an unmanned level crossing.

14.) It is also used for other applications like location-based services, survey and alignment, and time synchronised services.

15.) From July 2013, the Indian space agency has launched eight navigation satellites, with the last one launched on August 31, 2017. This was a failure as the rocket’s heat shield did not separate three minutes after lift-off and the satellite remained housed inside the heat shield. Each satellite has a life span of 10 years.

After the successful launch, Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman K. Sivan said: “I am extremely happy to announce that the PSLV has precisely injected the navigation satellite in the targetted orbit.” He said ISRO is moving towards to get the rocket and satellite through the industry.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the scientists of ISRO on the successful launch of the navigation satellite IRNSS-1I . “Congratulations to our scientists on the successful launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I by PSLV. This success will bring benefits of our space programme to the common man. Proud of team ISRO!”, the Prime Minister said.

Till now, PSLV has successfully launched 52 Indian satellites and 237 customer satellites from abroad.

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