India to have satellite-based navigation system by 2015
India will have its own navigational systems like couple of other countries by 2015 and its space agency is in a fast production mode to roll out six more satellites for this purpose.
Chennai: India will have its own navigational systems like couple of other countries by 2015 and its space agency is in a fast production mode to roll out six more satellites for this purpose, said an official Monday.
"All the seven satellites of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) are identical and the space agency will be rolling them out. Already the second one is getting ready for the year-end or early 2014 launch," an official at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS preferring anonymity.
India Monday night will be launching its first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A weighing 1,425 kg from its spaceport at Sriharikota, around 80 km from here, using its rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-XL (PSLV-XL).
The IRNSS-1A satellite is intended to provide terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation services and help in disaster and fleet management.
The satellite with a life span of around 10 years is one of the seven satellites constituting the IRNSS space segment - a regional navigational system developed by India, designed to provide accurate position information service to users within the country and up to 1,500 km from the nation's boundary line, ISRO said.
While ISRO is silent on the navigation system's strategic application, it is clear that IRNSS will be used for defence purposes as well.
The system is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), Glonass of Russia (24 satellites), Galileo of Europe (27 satellites), China's Beidou (35 satellites) or the Japanese Quasi Zenith Satellite System with three satellites.
While GPS and Glonass are fully functional global systems, Chinese and the Japanese systems are offering regional coverage and Europe's Galileo is yet to be operational.
By adding more satellites, the service area can be expanded, ISRO officials said.
The entire IRNSS system is expected to be in place by 2015 and the whole project is expected to cost around Rs.1,420 crore.
The ISRO official said the target date is achievable as the satellites will be launched using PSLV-XL rockets whose turn-around time is months and there are two launch pads.
"Only when all the seven satellites are up in the space, the whole system will come into play. The earlier we have the full system it is better for all. For instance by 2015, the first satellite - IRNSS-1A - will be nearly one-and-half years old and its remaining life span will be 8.5 years," the official said.
He said once the regional navigation system is in place, India need not be dependent on others.
According to the official, the IRNSS-1A will provide data that will be useful in tuning the systems.
"There will not be much revenue from the single satellite as its coverage area will be small," he said.
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.
The IRNSS system comprises of two segments - the space and the ground. The space segment consists of seven satellites of which three will be in geo-stationary orbit and four in inclined geo-synchronous orbit.
The satellite will go around the earth at a height of about 36,000 km from the earth, ISRO said.
The ground segment consists of infrastructure for controlling, tracking and other facilities.