India Launches IRNSS 1A, the First of its 7 Navigation Satellites

SatelliteIndia’s own satellite navigation system is one step closer to reality with the country’s space agency successfully launching the first of a cluster of 7 navigation satellites. The complete satellite navigation system won’t be operational until 2016, when all the 7 satellites are in the orbit.

The IRNSS- 1A, the first satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), was successfully launched on Monday. The payload of IRNSS-1A will transmit navigation service signals to the users, said the Indian Space Research Organisation said.

The polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV)- C22 which took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota propelled the system into space late last night. The IRNSS, according to ISRO will provide standards positioning services to be used publicly and encrypted positioning for defense forces.

At present, navigation applications such as Google Maps, MapMyIndia, Nokia Here in India use the American Global Positioning System. This is a concern for India as it couldn’t be used for military applications.

The satellite is capable of providing the following services

  • Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation
  • Disaster Management
  • Vehicle tracking and fleet management
  • Integration with mobile phones
  • Precise Timing
  • Mapping and Geodetic data capture
  • Terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travelers
  • Visual and voice navigation for drivers