You will soon be able to use India’s own navigation system — NavIC — to look for directions on your smartphones or cars as the country is all set to roll out its desi version.
What do you do when you are dependent on a global power, and it ditches you when you need it the most? You decide to become self-reliant. That’s what India set out to do two decades ago, and is now on the verge of accomplishment.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been working on a regional satellite navigation system called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) or NavIC to meet user requirements of positioning, navigation and timing services.
The navigation system will help in terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation. It will also help people track vehicles, manage fleets and disasters as well as a map and capture geological data.
Two decades later, NavIC, India’s own GPS which has been developed to challenge the current GPS system of the West, is in the final stages of launch. It will soon be offered as an Indian counter to foreign systems currently being used by companies and others.“Request for Proposal (RFP) has been called to start the implementation of NavIC so that the platform can be rolled out and popularised,” IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney told.
The GPS was named NavIC (‘Navigation with Indian Constellation’ whose Hindi meaning is ‘sailor’ or ‘navigator’), by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the launch of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) 1G, the last of the seven dedicated satellites, in 2016.
- The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) will work through a constellation of seven satellites. These seven satellites are currently functioning satisfactorily from their designated orbital positions.
- India’s desi navigation will challenge foreign GPS systems as it is considered to be more accurate with a position accuracy of five metres. The GPS has a position accuracy of 20-30 metres.
- The navigation satellite covers only India and its surroundings within 1,500 kilometres from the country’s border.
- The Request for Proposal (RFP) has been called to start the implementation of NavIC. Once it is launched officially, the platform will be popularized, according to IT secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney.
- The cost of this indigenous navigation system is believed to be around Rs 1,400 crore.
- The NavIC can be embedded on chips and other devices as well as on-vehicle navigation systems.
- With this, India will enter the club of select countries which have their own positioning systems such as America (GPS), Russia (GLONASS) and European Union (Galileo).
With seven satellites, the NavIC covers only India and its surroundings and is considered to be more accurate than the American system. NavIC will provide standard positioning service to all users with a position accuracy of 5 meters. The GPS, on the other hand, has a position accuracy of 20-30 metre. The indigenous navigation system is believed to have cost Isro around Rs 1,400 crore and 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.