ISRO's Next-Gen NavIC Satellite Set for Liftoff

This advanced system finds application in terrestrial, aerial, and marine transportation, enhancing navigation capabilities across various domains.

On May 29, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is scheduled to launch the latest iteration of its navigational satellite, NavIC, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre located in Sriharikota.

Scheduled for launch onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-II (GSLV-MkII), the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) satellite, weighing approximately 2232 kilogrammes, will take off at 10:42 a.m. This launch marks India's commitment to bolstering its indigenous navigational system.

This satellite represents the initial deployment of the second-generation satellites envisioned for NavIC services.

NavIC: A Geostationary Satellite Navigation System

NavIC, the regional navigation satellite system, consists of a cluster of seven satellites, namely IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D, IRNSS-1E, IRNSS-1F, and IRNSS-1G. These satellites operate in a geostationary orbit, orbiting Earth while maintaining a constant position above the surface. Together with a network of ground stations, they provide continuous, 24/7 navigation services.

As per ISRO's statement, NavIC provides two distinct services: the Standard Position Service (SPS), catering to civilian users, and the Restricted Service (RS), designed specifically for strategic users, including military applications.

Diverse Applications of the NavIC System

The NavIC system finds extensive application across various domains, including terrestrial, aerial, and marine transportation; location-based services, personal mobility, resource monitoring; surveying and geodesy; scientific research; time dissemination and synchronisation; as well as safety-of-life alert dissemination.

A noteworthy aspect of the NavIC system is its utilisation of the L5 band, a dedicated and protected frequency exclusively assigned to the Indian system. This dedicated frequency enhances the system's resilience and minimises interference from other signals, ensuring optimal performance.

In contrast, the GPS system operates within the L1 band, which is shared with multiple navigation systems deployed worldwide.

Gagan: Integrating Ground-Based Data for NavIC

Gagan, an integral component of the NavIC system, short for GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation, enhances system accuracy by incorporating data from supplementary ground-based reference stations. This augmentation system significantly enhances the reliability and performance of the navigation signals.