What is IRNSS?

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What is the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)? How is is different from GPS?
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Raghav Kapur - everything RF

Apr 11, 2017

IRNSS is India’s version of GPS (Global Positioning System). The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) was developed as an independent GNSS solution to provide accurate positioning data to users in India and up to 1500 km around the country. It provides position accuracy of better than 20 m in its primary service area.

The operational name for the Indian GNSS system is NAVIC which means "sailor" or "navigator" in Sanskrit, Hindi and many other Indian languages.

IRNSS provides two types of services - The Standard Positioning Service (SPS) which is open to all users and provides a position accuracy of better than 20 m. The Restricted Service (RS) is an encrypted service provided only to the authorized users. This restricted service provides an accuracy of 0.1 m.

The IRNSS consists of seven satellites. Three satellites are located in a Geostationary orbit (GEO) and 4 satellites in Geosynchronous orbit (GSO) with the required inclination and equatorial crossings in two different planes. There are two additional satellites on the ground as stand-by. The space segment is compatible with single frequency receiver for Standard Positioning Service (SPS), dual frequency receiver for both SPS & RS service and a multi-mode receiver compatible with other GNSS providers.

The system also has ground stations. 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. The Ground Segment is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the IRNSS constellation. It provides the monitoring of the constellation status, computation of the orbital and clock parameters and navigation data uploading. The Ground segment comprises of TTC & Uplinking Stations, Spacecraft Control Centre, IRNSS Timing Centre, CDMA Ranging Stations, Navigation Control Centre and Data Communication Links. 

The Indian government approved the project in May 2006. And now all seven satellites have been launched in to orbit.

IRNSS-1A was launched on 1 July 2013

IRNSS-1B was launched on 4 April 2014

IRNSS-1C was launched on 16 October 2014

IRNSS-1D was launched on 28 March 2015

IRNSS-1E was launched on 20 January 2016

IRNSS-1F was launched on 10 March 2016

IRNSS-1G was launched on 28 April 2016