12 Things You Should Know About IRNSS, India’s Own GPS System

Do you think the “Make in India” concept is just another futile announcement by the Indian Government? Well, not quite! The Indian technological think-tank, ISRO, is all set to unveil India’s very own navigation system — the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) — that could compete with America’s Global Positioning System (GPS).

Does this sound new to your ears? Or, are you still wondering about its fruitfulness in spite of ISRO’s famous and profitable Mangal Abhiyan? We have compiled a few important points about the IRNSS right here just for you:


1. The IRNSS will consist of seven satellites — three will be planted in the geostationary orbit while the rest will be planted on the inclined geosynchronous orbit.

All the three orbits will cover the area around the Indian subcontinent.


2. The second of the seven satellites was launched to perfection on 4th April, 2014.

The IRNSS 1B was launched on the 4th April, 2014 at 5:44 PM on the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre located at Sriharikota. The satellite weighs around 1,432 kg and is being sent on board ISRO’s workhorse PSLV’s XL version. It is the 6th time the XL version of the 44.4m PSLV has been used.


3. The IRNSS is made with a mission life of 10 years.

For the operation of this IRNSS, a minimum of 4 satellites need to be launched.


4. On 28th March, 2015, ISRO successfully launched its 4th satellite — the IRNSS 1D.


5. From marine and terrestrial navigation to tracking vehicles, disaster management and fleet management, the IRNSS’ applications will cover vast areas of interest.

Mapping and geodetic data-capture along with precise timing and integration with mobile phones will also be among the important benefits of the IRNSS.


6. According to ISRO, the INRSS will work on similar lines as USA’s GPS, Europe’s Galileo, Russia’s Glonass, Japan’s Quasi Zenith Satellite System and China’s Beidou.

With such a great team of scientists working on it, we can expect IRNSS to be better than the rest.


7. IRNSS 1A — the first satellite — is confirmed to have performed satisfactorily.

The IRNSS 1A has already started to function from its designated slot in the geostationary orbit after extensive tests and evaluations. All the satellites are expected to be operational with effect from July 2016.


8. Although the IRNSS constellation has been designed with seven satellites, in the long run, the ISRO is planning an expansion to 11 satellites.

This is according to the ISRO Chief, K. Radhakrishnan.


 9. All we need to receive the s-band signal from the IRNSS is a small hardware in our handheld devices.

To receive the L-band signals, a code will have to be fed into mobile phone software.


10. Not just ISRO scientists, but senior scientists from the Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad, are also waiting eagerly for the IRNSS to become operational.


11. The best thing about ISRO is that it provides coverage not only over India but around 1500 kilometers from its boundary.


12. Some important applications and benefits of GPS are:

a) Navigation: terrestrial, marine and aerial

b) Precise timing

c) Disaster Management

d) Voice and visual navigation for the drivers

e) Mapping and geodetic data capture

f) Integration with mobile phones

g) Fleet Management along with vehicle tracking

h) Terrestrial Navigation help for the travelers and hikers


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