An Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket lifted off successfully on Thursday afternoon with the country’s seventh and final navigation satellite, IRNSS-1G, from the rocket port in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota. The PSLV-XL standing 44.4 metre tall and weighing 320 tonnes, tore into the afternoon skies at 12.50 pm breaking free of the earth’s gravitational pull. Around 20 minutes after liftoff, PSLV-C33 successfully placed IRNSS-1G in orbit. The satellite has a 12-year mission life. Named the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), it consists of a constellation of seven satellites of which six – IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D, IRNSS-1E and IRNSS-1F- have already been put into orbit.

 

The IRNSS system is designed to provide accurate position information to users within the country and in the region extending up to 1500km from the boundary. IRNSS will provide standard positioning service (SPS) for all users with a position accuracy of better than 20 metres and a restricted service (RS) for authorised users with an accuracy of 10 metres.

The indigenous navigation system will aid terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, vehicle tracking and fleet management, disaster management, mapping and geodetic data capture, visual and voice navigation for drivers. The service can also be integrated with mobile phones and can be navigation tool for hikers and travellers.

The restricted service will be used by the military for missile delivery and navigation and tracking of aircraft.

With the constellation of satellites complete, India has joined the league of countries that has indigenous navigation system. The system will reduce the country’s dependency on US Global Positioning System. Apart from India, only a few other countries, including the US, the European Union, China and Russia have their own navigation systems in place.

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