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IRNSS-NaVIC for Global Use: ISRO


The Vice President has suggested ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) make Indian regional navigation satellite system-Navigation in Indian Constellation (NaVIC) for global use.

  • In 2006, the project was approved by the Government of India and was expected to be completed and implemented by 2015-16.
  • The constellations’ first satellite (IRNSS-1A) was launched on 1st July 2013 and the seventh and final satellite (IRNSS-1G) was launched on 28th April 2016.
  • With the last launch of the constellation’s satellite (IRNSS-1G), IRNSS was renamed Navigation Indian Constellation (NaVIC) by India’s Prime Minister.
  • Presently, IRNSS consists of eight satellites, three satellites in geostationary orbit and five satellites in geosynchronous orbit.
  • IRNSS-1I is expected to replace IRNSS-1A, which was rendered ineffective after its three rubidium atomic clocks failed.
  • The main objective is to provide reliable position, navigation and timing services over India and its neighbourhood.
  • It works just like the established and popular US Global Positioning System (GPS) but within a 1,500-km radius over the sub-continent.
  • Technically satellite systems with more satellites provide more accurate positioning information.
  • However, compared to GPS (24 satellites) which has a position accuracy of 20-30 metres, the NavIC is able to pinpoint location to an estimated accuracy of under 20 metres.
  • It has been certified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a global body for coordinating mobile telephony standards.
  • It was recognised by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS) for operation in the Indian Ocean Region in 2020.
  • ISRO is working to build the next generation of IRNSS satellites with indigenous atomic clocks and enhancements to navigation services.