GPS or Global Positioning System is a US-based technology consisting of 31 satellites that provide geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver anywhere on or near our planet. The global navigation satellite system was created by the US government and is maintained by it. Additionally, the government also makes it freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.
Well, India’s own GPS is all set to be launched and will place it in the club of select countries which have their own indigenous navigation systems. The GPS has been named NavIC—Navigation with Indian Constellation.
Speaking to the Times of India, IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney, said, “The Request for Proposal (RFP) has been called to start the implementation of NavIC so that the platform can be rolled out and popularised.”
He added that, “It will be good to have our an indigenous system. Once we are officially there, the NavIC can be embedded on chips and other devices as well as on vehicle navigation systems.”
The confirmation for the development work was granted by IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, signalling that the rollout of NavIC will take place soon.
Here are ten things regarding the NavIC that you should know about:
1) The satellite system was announced by 2007 and was set to be functional by 2012. But due to various constraints, the development and launch were postponed till 2018.
2) The NavIC or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) works through a constellation of 7 satellites launched by the Indian space research organisation (ISRO).
3) Although the technology has been developed by ISRO, the organisations claims that it does not seek any personal revenue from the system and solely exists for the strategic interest of the country.
4) The IRNSS satellite series consists of three geostationary orbit satellites and four geosynchronous satellites. The first one was launched in 2013, but the satellite failed in orbit. The second one was successfully launched in 2014, and the last one was successfully placed in orbit on 12th April 2018.
5) The other countries that have their own indigenous system are Russia (GLONASS—Global Navigation Satellite System), European Union (Galileo Positioning System), Japan (Quasi-Zenith Satellite System—QZSS) and China (Beidou Navigation Satellite System—BDS).
6) While the GPS has a position accuracy of 20-30 metres, the position accuracy of the NavIC is 5 metres, making it technically better than the GPS. Also, it only covers India and its surroundings within 1,500 kilometres from the border.
7) NavIC will provide two types of services—standard positioning service (SPS) for all users and an encrypted restricted service (RS) only for authorised users.
8) ISRO developed the indigenous positioning system at the cost of about ₹1400 crore.
9) The NavIC will be useful in terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation. Along with that, tracking, managing disaster and gathering geodetic data will be a few of the other uses of the system.
10) The NavIC can be embedded on chips and other devices as well as on vehicle navigation systems.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)