NavIC, India’s Very Own GPS Substitute, To Hit The Market In 2018

Swarajya Staff

May 29, 2017, 12:14 PM | Updated 12:13 PM IST

ISRO’s launchpad in Sriharikota. (ISRO)
ISRO’s launchpad in Sriharikota. (ISRO)

NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), India’s very own substitute for the Global Positioning System (GPS), which is now operational and is currently being tested for accuracy, will be available in the market for public use early next year, Tapan Misra, the director of Ahmedabad-based Space Application Centre, has said.

“The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System with an operational name of NavIC is being tested for its accuracy and is most likely to be available in the market for public use early next year” the Economic Times quoted Misra as saying.

NavIC is based on the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS), an independent regional navigation satellite system consisting of a constellation of seven satellites - three in the geostationary earth orbit and four in the geosynchronous orbit. The system will provide two types of services- Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS). While SPS will be provided to all the users, encrypted service RS will be provided only to the authorised users, such as the Army, Navy and Air Force.

The country first embarked upon this project when the United States denied India access to GPS during the Kargil war in 1999. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary, which is its primary service area. The system will provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metres.

With NavIC, India will enter an elite club of countries which have indigenously developed positioning systems. Besides America's GPS, Russia has its GLONASS and the European Union, its Galileo. China is also in the process of building its own positioning system, known as Beidou Navigation Satellite System.

With inputs from ANI

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