Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System
|Country of origin||India|
|Number of satellites
|Number of satellites
|Regime(s)||GSO and GEO|
|Cost||₹1600 crore (US$240 million)|
The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system being developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) which would be under complete control of the Indian government. The requirement of such a navigation system is driven because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations, as happened to the Indian military depending on American GPS during the Kargil War. The IRNSS would provide two services, with the Standard Positioning Service open for civilian use, and the Restricted Service (an encrypted one) for authorised users (including the military).
IRNSS would have seven satellites, out of which four are already placed in orbit. The constellation of seven satellites is expected to operate from 2016 onwards.
As part of the project, ISRO opened a new satellite navigation center within the campus of ISRO Deep Space Network (DSN) at Byalalu, in Karnataka on 28 May 2013. A network of 21 ranging stations located across the country will provide data for the orbital determination of the satellites and monitoring of the navigation signal.
A goal of complete Indian control has been stated, with the space segment, ground segment and user receivers all being built in India. Its location in low latitudes facilitates a coverage with low-inclination satellites. Three satellites will be in geostationary orbit over the Indian Ocean. Missile targeting could be an important military application for the constellation.
The total cost of the project is expected to be ₹1420 crore (US$214 million), with the cost of the ground segment being ₹300 crore (US$45 million) and each satellites costing ₹125 crore (US$19 million). The IRNSS signal has been released for evaluation in Sep 2014
In April 2010, it was reported that India plans to start launching satellites by the end of 2011, at a rate of one satellite every six months. This would have made the IRNSS functional by 2015. But program was delayed. India also launched 3 new satellites into space to supplement this.
Seven satellites with the prefix "IRNSS-1" will constitute the space segment of the IRNSS. IRNSS-1A, the first of the seven satellites of the IRNSS constellation, was launched on 1 July 2013. IRNSS-1B was launched on 4 April 2014 at 17:14 IST on board the PSLV-C24 rocket. The satellite has been placed in geosynchronous orbit.
IRNSS-1C was launched on 16 October 2014, and IRNSS-1D on 28 March 2015. Three more navigational satellites will be launched by early 2016 and by middle of 2016, India will have the full navigational satellite system in place.
The proposed system would consist of a constellation of seven satellites and a support ground segment. Three of the satellites in the constellation will be located in geostationary orbit at 32.5° East, 83° East, and 131.5° East longitude. Two of the GSOs will cross the equator at 55° East and two at 111.75° East. Such an arrangement would mean all seven satellites would have continuous radio visibility with Indian control stations. The satellite payloads would consist of atomic clocks and electronic equipment to generate the navigation signals.
IRNSS signals will consist of a Special Positioning Service and a Precision Service. Both will be carried on L5 (1176.45 MHz) and S band (2492.028 MHz). The SPS signal will be modulated by a 1 MHz BPSK signal. The Precision Service will use BOC(5,2). The navigation signals themselves would be transmitted in the S-band frequency (2–4 GHz) and broadcast through a phased array antenna to maintain required coverage and signal strength. The satellites would weigh approximately 1,330 kg and their solar panels generate 1,400 watts. The system is intended to provide an absolute position accuracy of better than 10 meters throughout Indian landmass and better than 20 meters in the Indian Ocean as well as a region extending approximately 1,500 km around India.
The ground segment of IRNSS constellation would consist of a Master Control Center (MCC), ground stations to track and estimate the satellites' orbits and ensure the integrity of the network (IRIM), and additional ground stations (TT&C stations) to monitor the satellites with the capability of issuing radio commands to them. The MCC would estimate and predict the position of all IRNSS satellites, calculate integrity, makes necessary ionospheric and clock corrections and run the navigation software. In pursuit of an independent system, an Indian standard time infrastructure would also be established.
IRNSS-1A the first navigational satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites to be placed in geosynchronous orbit. was built at ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, costing ₹125 crore (US$19 million). It has a lift-off mass of 1380 kg, and carries a navigation payload and a C-band ranging transponder, which operates in L5 band (1176.45 MHz) and S band (2492.028 MHz). An optimised I-1K bus structure with a power handling capability of around 1600 watts is used and is designed for a ten-year mission. The satellite was launched on-board PSLV-C22 on 1 July 2013 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
IRNSS-1B is the second out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. It has been very precisely and successfully placed in its orbit through PSLV-C24 rocket on 4 April 2014.
IRNSS-1C is the Third out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites. The satellite was successfully launched using India's PSLV-C26 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on 16 October 2014 at 1:32 am.
IRNSS-1D is the Fourth out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites system. It was successfully launched using India's PSLV-C27 on 28 March 2015 at 5:19 pm.
IRNSS-1E will be the fifth out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites system. Its launch is planned in August 2015.
IRNSS-1F will be the sixth out of seven in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites system. Its launch is planned in December 2015.
IRNSS-1G will be the seventh and last of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System series of satellites. Its launch is planned in March 2016.
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