India’s NavIC: NavIC satellites offer 3-metre positioning accuracy

India’s NavIC (Navigation for Indian Constellation) series of satellites offer a positioning accuracy of three meters, according to Dr. S Somanath, the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In a recent interview with WION, he emphasized the superior navigation, positioning, and timing services provided by the Indian satellites. With the capability to expand the service globally, ISRO’s NavIC system is set to revolutionize navigation and positioning, meeting India’s requirements and beyond.

India's NavIC

In today’s fast-paced world, accurate navigation and positioning have become crucial for various applications, from transportation and logistics to personal devices and geolocation services. The Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) series of satellites has been developed by ISRO to cater to India’s needs and provide reliable services in these domains.

NavIC’s Position Accuracy and Superior Services

The NavIC system boasts an impressive positioning accuracy of three meters, ensuring precision in determining the location of objects on the Earth’s surface. It’s important to note that this accuracy may vary based on the strength of the received signals and the availability of satellites in the constellation. Nevertheless, the navigation, positioning, and timing services offered by India’s NavIC are considered superior, thanks to the robust architecture employed.

Global Expansion of NavIC Services

ISRO possesses the means to make India’s NavIC a global service, whenever the need arises. This capability enables India’s NavIC to extend its benefits beyond India’s borders and cater to the navigation and positioning requirements of a wider audience. The potential global expansion of India’s NavIC would position India as a significant player in the global navigation satellite system domain.

Introduction of India’sNVS-01 Satellite

Recently launched, the NVS-01 satellite marks the beginning of a new generation of NavIC satellites designed and built by India’s UR Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru. The NVS series aims to augment and enhance India’s existing fleet of NavIC satellites. These satellites have been specifically developed to meet the country’s navigation, positioning, and timing requirements.

Augmentation of India’s NavIC with NVS Series

The NVS series of satellites brings a host of advancements to the NavIC system. It incorporates L1 band signals, expanding the range of services provided by NavIC. Additionally, for the first time, an indigenous atomic clock is being flown in the NVS-01 satellite, further enhancing the accuracy and reliability of the system.

Need for an Independent Navigation System

India’s vast landmass, large population, and booming digital services and business opportunities necessitate the availability of independent systems for navigation, positioning, and timing. Dr. Somanath highlighted the importance of having an indigenous navigation system that provides self-reliance and supports the strategic autonomy of India’s armed forces.

Overview of Current India’s NavIC Satellites

ISRO’s existing fleet of NavIC satellites was deployed in a phased manner between 2013 and 2018, utilizing the reliable PSLV rockets for their launches. These satellites weigh 1,425 kg and are equipped with foreign-origin atomic clocks. They consist of two types of payloads: navigation payload and ranging payload. The navigation payload enables the transmission of signals for position, velocity, and time determination, while the ranging payload facilitates accurate range calculations using a C-band transponder.

Future Plans for India’s NavIC

Currently, only four out of the seven NavIC satellites in operation are functional. Instead of replacing the defunct satellites from the first generation, ISRO has embarked on a mission to launch a fleet of next-generation NavIC satellites. The NVS series, including NVS-01, will replace the old fleet over time. This approach ensures continuity and allows for advancements in technology and functionality. ISRO plans to launch two next-gen NavIC satellites annually.

The NavIC system developed by ISRO offers India precise navigation, positioning, and timing services, with an impressive positioning accuracy of three meters. With the recent launch of the NVS-01 satellite, the first in the new series of NavIC satellites, ISRO aims to augment and enhance the existing fleet. The introduction of L1 band signals and an indigenous atomic clock demonstrates ISRO’s commitment to providing advanced and reliable navigation and positioning services. As India continues to make strides in space technology, the NavIC system will play a pivotal role in shaping the country’s future in navigation and positioning services.

Also read I Chandrayaan 3.

Also see I  GSLVF12/ NVS01 Launch.


What is the positioning accuracy of NavIC?

NavIC offers a positioning accuracy of three meters, ensuring precise location determination.

Are all NavIC satellites operational?

Currently, four out of the seven NavIC satellites are operational, while the remaining three have reached the end of their mission life.

Why is India launching a new fleet of NavIC satellites?

Instead of replacing the defunct satellites of the first generation, ISRO is launching a new fleet to sustain and enhance the NavIC system, incorporating advanced features and technology.

How will the NVS series augment NavIC?

The NVS series of satellites will introduce L1 band signals and an indigenous atomic clock, expanding the services and enhancing the accuracy and reliability of NavIC.

Can NavIC provide global navigation services?

ISRO has the capability to make NavIC a global service, extending its benefits beyond India’s borders as and when required.

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