Defence Space & Technology

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) : NavIC

IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area. An Extended Service Area lies between primary service area and area enclosed by the rectangle from Latitude 30 deg South to 50 deg North, Longitude 30 deg East to 130 deg East.

IRNSS will provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is provided to all the users and Restricted Service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users. The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS with an operational name of NAVIC (Sailor or Navigator in Sanskrit, Hindi and many other Indian languages) which stands for NAVigation with Indian Constellation is an Indian developed Navigation Satellite System that is used to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and region extending to 1500 km around India. The fully deployed NAVIC system consists of 3 satellites in GEO orbit and 4 satellites in GSO orbit, approximately 36,000 km altitude above earth surface. However, the full system comprises nine satellites, including two on the ground as stand-by. The requirement of such a navigation system is driven because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations, as happened to the Indian military depending on American GPS during the Kargil War. The NAVIC would provide two services, with the Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use, and the Restricted Service (an encrypted one) for authorized users (including the military). Once the NAVIC is declared operational after checking the systems – space (satellites), ground (ground stations) and the user-end signal receivers, India will formally join a select group of nations owning their own Navigational Satellite system . The NAVIC constellation of seven satellites is in orbit.

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Some applications of IRNSS are:

1. Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
2. Disaster Management
3. Vehicle tracking and fleet management
4. Integration with mobile phones
5. Precise Timing
6. Mapping and Geodetic data capture
7. Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travellers
8. Visual and voice navigation for drivers

The IRNSS Signal-in-Space Interface Control Document (ICD) for Standard Positioing Service (SPS) is released to the public to provide the essential information on the IRNSS signal-in-space, to facilitate research & development and aid the commercial use of the IRNSS signals for navigation-based applications.

Development

As part of the project, ISRO opened a new satellite navigation center within the campus of ISRO Deep Space Network (DSN) at Byalalu, in Karnataka on 28 May 2013. A network of 21 ranging stations located across the country will provide data for the orbital determination of the satellites and monitoring of the navigation signal.

A goal of complete Indian control has been stated, with the space segment, ground segment and user receivers all being built in India. Its location in low latitudes facilitates a coverage with low-inclination satellites. Three satellites will be in geostationary orbit over the Indian Ocean. Missile targeting could be an important military application for the constellation.

The total cost of the project is expected to be ₹1,420 crore (US$211 million), with the cost of the ground segment being ₹300 crore (US$45 million). Each satellites costing ₹150 crore (US$22 million) and the PSLV-XL version rocket costs around ₹130 crore (US$19 million) . The seven rockets would involve an outlay of around ₹910 crore (US$135 million). The NavIC signal has been released for evaluation in Sep 2014.

The system consists of a constellation of seven satellites and a support ground segment. Three of the satellites in the constellation are located in geostationary orbit (GEO) at 32.5° East, 83° East, and 131.5° East longitude. The other four are inclined geosynchronous orbit (GSO). Two of the GSOs cross the equator at 55° East and two at 111.75° East. The four GSO satellites will appear to be moving in the form of an “8”. In addition, various ground-based systems will control, track orbits, check integration and send radio signals to the satellites. The land-based Master Control Center (MCC) will run navigational software.

NavIC signals will consist of a Standard Positioning Service and a Precision Service. Both will be carried on L5 (1176.45 MHz) and S band (2492.028 MHz). The SPS signal will be modulated by a 1 MHz BPSK signal. The Precision Service will use BOC(5,2). The navigation signals themselves would be transmitted in the S-band frequency (2–4 GHz) and broadcast through a phased array antenna to maintain required coverage and signal strength. The satellites would weigh approximately 1,330 kg and their solar panels generate 1,400 watts. The system is intended to provide an absolute position accuracy of better than 10 meters throughout Indian landmass and better than 20 meters in the Indian Ocean as well as a region extending approximately 1,500 km around India.

Satellites –

IRNSS-1A –

IRNSS-1A is the first navigational satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) series of satellites been placed in geosynchronous orbit.

Satellite:

The satellite has been developed at a cost of ₹1.25 billion (US$19 million), and was launched on 1 July 2013. It will provide IRNSS services to the Indian public, which would be a system similar to Global Positioning System (GPS) but only for India and the region around it.

Each IRNSS satellite has two payloads: a navigation payload and CDMA ranging payload in addition with a laser retro-reflector. The payload generates navigation signals at L5 and S-band. The design of the payload makes the IRNSS system inter-operable and compatible with GPS and Galileo. The satellite is powered by two solar arrays, which generate power up to 1,660 watts, and has a life-time of ten years.

Launch:

The satellite was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) on 1 July 2013 at 11:41 PM (IST). The launch was postponed from its initial launch date of 26 June 2013 due to a technical snag in the 2nd stage of the PSLV-C22 launch rocket. ISRO then replaced the faulty component in the rocket and rescheduled the launch to 1 July 2013 at 11:43 p.m.

Scientists from the German Aerospace Centre (DLR)’s Institute of Communications and Navigation in Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, have received signals from IRNSS-1A. On 23 July 2013, the German Aerospace Center scientists pointed their 30-meter dish antenna at Weilheim towards the satellite and found that it was already transmitting a signal in the L5 frequency band.

IRNSS-1B

IRNSS-1B is the second out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) series of satellites after IRNSS-1A. The IRNSS constellation of satellites is slated to be launched to provide navigational services to the region. It was placed in geosynchronous orbit on 4 April 2014.

Satellite:

The satellite will help augmenting the satellite based navigation system of India which is currently under development. The navigational system so developed will be a regional one targeted towards South Asia. The satellite will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services.

IRNSS-1B satellite has two payloads: a navigation payload and CDMA ranging payload in addition with a laser retro-reflector. The payload generates navigation signals at L5 and S-band. The design of the payload makes the IRNSS system interoperable and compatible with Global Positioning System (GPS) and Galileo. The satellite is powered by two solar arrays, which generate power up to 1,660 watts, and has a life-time of ten years.

Launch:

The 1,432 kg satellite was launched on 4 April 2014 at 11:44 UTC (17:14 IST) aboard the PSLV-C24 rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

IRNSS-1C

IRNSS-1C is the third out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) series of satellites after IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B. The IRNSS constellation of satellites is slated to be launched to provide navigational services to the region. It was launched on 15 October 2014 at 20:02 UTC by PSLV-C26 and will be placed in geostationary orbit.

Satellite:

The satellite will help augmenting the satellite based navigation system of India which is currently under development. The navigational system so developed will be a regional one targeted towards South Asia. The satellite will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services.

IRNSS-1C satellite will have two payloads: a navigation payload and CDMA ranging payload in addition with a laser retro-reflector. The payload generates navigation signals at L5 and S-band. The design of the payload makes the IRNSS system inter-operable and compatible with Global Positioning System (GPS) and Galileo systems. The satellite is powered by two solar arrays, which generate up to 1,660 watts, and has a life-time of ten years.

IRNSS-1C was launched successfully on 16 October 2014 at 1:32 am IST from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

IRNSS-1D

IRNSS-1D is the fourth out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites system. It was successfully launched using India’s PSLV-C27 on 28 March 2015 at 5:19 pm.
IRNSS-1D is a satellite in the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) constellation. The satellite is the fourth of seven in the constellation, launched after IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B and IRNSS-1C. The satellite is the only satellite in the constellation slated to provide navigational services to the region. The satellite will be placed in geosynchronous orbit. It was launched successfully on 28 March 2015 onboard ISRO’s PSLV-C27 from Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota.

Satellite:

The satellite will help in augmenting the satellite based navigation system of India which is currently under development. The navigational system so developed will be a regional one targeted towards South Asia. The satellite will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services.

IRNSS-1D satellite has two payloads: a navigation payload and CDMA ranging payload in addition with a laser retro-reflector. The payload generates navigation signals at L5 and S-band. The design of the payload makes the IRNSS system inter-operable and compatible with Global Positioning System (GPS) and Galileo. The satellite is powered by two solar arrays, which generate power up to 1,660 watts, and has a life-time of ten years.

IRNSS-1E

IRNSS-1E is the fifth out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites system. It was successfully launched on 20 January 2016 using India’s PSLV-C31 at 9:31 am.

IRNSS-1E is the fifth out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) series of satellites after IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C and IRNSS-1D. The satellite is one among the seven of the IRNSS constellation of satellites launched to provide navigational services to the region. The satellite was placed in geosynchronous orbit. IRNSS-1E has been successfully launched into orbit on January 20, 2016

Satellite:

The satellite will help augmenting the satellite based navigation system of India which is currently under development. The navigational system so developed will be a regional one targeted towards South Asia. The satellite will provide navigation, tracking and mapping services.

IRNSS-1E satellite will have two payloads: a navigation payload and CDMA ranging payload in addition with a laser retro-reflector. The payload generates navigation signals at L5 and S-band. The design of the payload makes the IRNSS system interoperable and compatible with Global Positioning System (GPS) and Galileo. The satellite is powered by two solar arrays, which generate power up to 1,660 watts, and has a designed life-time of twelve years.

Launcher:

Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its 33rd flight (PSLV-C31), launched IRNSS-1E, the fifth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The launch took place from the Second Launch Pad (SLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. As in the previous four launches of IRNSS satellites, PSLV-C31 will use ‘XL’ version of PSLV.

IRNSS-1F

IRNSS-1F is the sixth out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites system. It was successfully launched on 10 March 2016 using India’s PSLV-C32 at 4:01 pm.

IRNSS-1F is the sixth navigation satellite out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) series of satellites after IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D and IRNSS-1E. The satellite is one among the seven of the IRNSS constellation of satellites launched to provide navigational services to the region. It was launched aboard a PSLV-XL rocket bearing flight number C32 and was successfully put into geosynchronous orbit at 1601 IST on 10 March 2016.

The satellite carries two types of payloads. The navigation payload transmit navigation service signals to users and ranging payload consists of C-band transponder that facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite.

IRNSS-1G –

IRNSS-1G was the seventh and final of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) series of satellites after IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D, IRNSS-1E and IRNSS-1F. This system of satellites will provide navigational services to the Indian region. The satellite was placed in geosynchronous orbit successfully on April 28, 2016 at 12:50–pm IST

Launch:

The satellite was launched from the First Launch Pad (FLP) of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota on board PSLV-C33. The countdown of the launch had begun 51:30 hours before at 9:20 a.m. IST on 25 April.

After the launch of IRNSS-1G Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi declared that the IRNSS system would be called NAVIC (Navigation Indian Constellation). He also stated that other countries of the Indian subcontinent could use the IRNSS system as they are currently dependent on other nation’s navigational systems. The system thus also holds strategic importance in Modi’s foreign policy. Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, the head of the space policy initiative at Observer Research Foundation said that IRNSS would provide freedom to India during potential conflicts as it currently depends on America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russia’s GLONASS.

Specifications:

The satellite is designed for 12 years of life. It has a lift-off mass of 1,425 kilograms (3,142 lb) and dry mass of 598 kilograms (1,318 lb). The ranging payload of IRNSS-1G consists of a C-band transponder (automatic receivers and transmitters of radio signals) which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. It would operate in L-5 and S band spectrums and also has a Rubidium atomic clock. Special thermal control systems are used for key components like this clock. Two panels of solar cells are used to generate 1660W of energy and one Litium-ion 90A-hr battery is used. The satellite is placed in an orbit at an altitude of 497.8 kilometres (309.3 mi) at 129.5 deg East longitude. It cost approximately ₹125 crore (US$19 million).

The “XL” version of PSLV was used with six strap-ons for the launch. Each strap-on used 12 metric tons (12 long tons; 13 short tons) of propellant. ISRO has successfully used PSLV 34 times and the XL version 12 times before the launch of IRNSS-1G.

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