What ails the Navigation Indian Constellation?



Navigation Indian Constellation (NavIC) is an Indian satellite based positioning system that will be used for critical national applications and was named so by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It will end India’ dependence on foreign navigation systems that include Global Positioning system(GPS) of US and Russia’s Glonass among others.

Key features of NavIC:

  • NavIC consists of a constellation of seven satellites
  • Three of the satellites are in a geostationary orbit and four in a geosynchronous orbit
  • All the seven satellites of NavIC, namely, IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID,1E, 1F and 1G have been successfully launched
  • It will provide accurate information to users on their position in India and 1500km around the Indian subcontinent
  • It will provide two type of services-
    • Standard positioning services for all users
    • Restricted(encrypted) services for authorized users

The applications of IRNSS are:

  • terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation
  • vehicle tracking and fleet management
  • terrestrial navigation for hikers and travellers
  • disaster management
  • integration with mobile phones
  • mapping and geodetic data capture and visual and voice navigation for drivers

Clocks that NavIC relies on:

  • NavIC relies on rubidium clocks
  • Each of the seven satellites has three rubidium clocks on-board
  • Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) has confirmed that the clocks on the first satellite, IRNSS-1A have failed
  • ISRO was trying to revive the clocks on IRNSS-1A and is also preparing to launch one of the two back-up navigation satellites


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