Times of India: April, 2016
Sriharikota: The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Thursday accomplished the task of developing the country's own navigation system with the successful launch of IRNSS-1G, the last in the series of seven navigation satellites.
Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C33 carrying IRNSS-1G (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System) lifted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 12.50.
Around 20 minutes after liftoff, PSLV-C33 successfully placed IRNSS-1G in orbit. The satellite has a 12-year mission life.
With the constellation of satellites complete, India has joined the league of countries that has indigenous navigation system. The system will reduce the country's dependency on US Global Positioning System.
Apart from India, only a few other countries, including the US, the European Union, China and Russia have their own navigation systems in place.
For many years now, India has been mostly dependent on the Global Positioning System developed by the US, a project that it began in 1973. However, when the US denied GPS information during the Kargil war in 1999, the nation felt the need for an indigenous navigation system.
The IRNSS system is designed to provide accurate position information to users within the country and in the region extending up to 1500km from the boundary.
IRNSS will provide standard positioning service (SPS) for all users with a position accuracy of better than 20 metres and a restricted service (RS) for authorised users with an accuracy of 10 metres.
The indigenous navigation system will aid terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, vehicle tracking and fleet management, disaster management, mapping and geodetic data capture, visual and voice navigation for drivers. The service can also be integrated with mobile phones and can be navigation tool for hikers and travellers.
The restricted service will be used by the military for missile delivery and navigation and tracking of aircraft.
Isro launched the first satellite in the system -- IRNSS-1A -- on July 1, 2013 followed by IRNSS-1B (April 4, 2014), IRNSS-1C (October 16, 2014), IRNSS-1D (March 28, 2015), IRNSS-1E (January 20, 2016) and IRNSS-1F (March 10, 2016).
These satellites have already started functioning from their designated orbital slots after extensive on-orbit test and evaluation to confirm their satisfactory performance.
According to Isro officials, the total cost of all the seven satellites was Rs 1,420 crore.