NavIC – The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is a navigational satellite system similar to the GPS of the US, but limited to the regional level.

In this article, we will discuss the Indian Territorial Navigation Satellite System in a simple and easy way and understand other important aspects related to it.


What is a satellite system called?

When a celestial body or a man-made machine orbits a star or a planet, it is called a satellite, just as the Moon is a satellite because it orbits the Earth. But since humans understood that they can also make satellites themselves and send them to Earth’s orbit to fulfill their needs or to improve their lives, then what was they, they made many satellites and sent them to Earth’s orbit. began. What happened with this?

Due to this, the whole life of humans was changed, many of his shortcomings were eliminated and new powers increased. He went further in this area and then he came to know that if many groups of satellites are used, then each location of the whole earth can be pinpointed and using that many impossible things will be possible. , such as finding accurate real-time position, easily measuring the distance of two places on the earth, tracking movement, gathering intelligence, conducting geo-survey, etc.

The first launch in this area of ​​GPS was done by America in 1978 and then it gradually set-up the entire satellite system. Today a total of 33 satellites are working in this area and providing GPS facility to the entire earth. Other countries also developed such satellite systems to prevent America’s monopoly in the region. 

Russia designed the system under the name GLONASS , China launched it under the name BeiDouGalileo by the European Union and the Quasi-Zenith satellite system by Japan .

India also forayed in this field when the first satellite of the Indian Territorial Navigation Satellite System was launched on 1 July 2013. India has a total of 7 satellites in this satellite system, out of which the last satellite was launched in April 2018. 

In this way the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System was given a new operational name NavIC (Navigator). Today it is working well. [From here – understand satellite in detail ]

| How did the work on the Indian Territorial Navigation Satellite System start?

It is May 1999. Pakistani soldiers disguised as infiltrators entered Jammu and Kashmir and occupied many places in Kargil. The Indian Army was finding it difficult to trace the exact location of the intruders. 

In such a situation, India sought help from America. America’s GPS was working perfectly at that time which could provide the correct location to India. But he didn’t. This came as a huge blow to India and also taught a great lesson that we cannot depend on others in such matters!

ISRO understood its importance and not only worked on indigenous GPS technology but also built a complete system related to mapping and geolocation. And today India’s navigation system provides information more accurately than GPS.

| What is NavIC?

The Indian Territorial Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an autonomous navigation satellite system of India capable of providing accurate real-time positioning. As we discussed above also; Its operational name i.e. the name to be used was named NavIC – NAVigation with Indian Constellation in 2016 . 

Called more accurate than American GPS, NavIC manufactured by ISRO was said to be supported by mobile chip maker Qualcomm in the year 2020 . This raised hopes of soon being able to use indigenous NavIC instead of Google Maps for Map based services and for other similar services .

Now it remains to be seen when we will start getting NavIC support in all smartphones. But here the question arises that how does any satellite system like GPS work?

| How does GPS work?

Suppose you are standing somewhere on the earth and there are three satellites in the sky above you. If you know how far you are from Satellite A, you also know that you may be somewhere in the circle of Satellite B. 

Similarly, if you know how far you are from satellite B, you can also find out where in the circle of satellite C you are. The same thing will happen for Satellite C as well. 

In this way it will be known where these three circles are intersecting. The location where it is intersecting will be your exact location. This is how GPS gets the exact location and this intersection method is called trilateration . You can see in the picture below ;

In what respects is the Indian Territorial Navigation Satellite System different from others?

It is also relatively more accurate than America’s GPS and Russia’s GLONASS. According to ISRO , its accuracy is up to 10 centimeters. While talking about GPS, its accuracy is up to 30 centimeters.

Where the American GPS uses only the L band, NavIC uses two bands L and S. This makes it more efficient than its counterparts.

Though GPS has 31 satellites and it covers the whole earth but since NavIC is a regional navigational satellite system it has only 7 satellites and it works only within a radius of 1500 kms outside India.

| No. of Satellites in NavIC

There are total 7 satellites in this entire system of NavIC . Three in Earth’s Geo Stationary Orbit and four in Geo Synchronous Orbit. However, there will be two more satellites which will be put in standby mode.

indian gps navic
indian gps navic

| GPS comparison chart

Satellite no.7312435
accuracy100-10 cm500-30 cm738-280 cm260-10 cm
satellite age12 years10 years10 Years12 Years
first launch2013197819822000

Advantages of NavIC

  • look at  remote areas
  • used in traffic jams 
  • Real time mapping of trains 
  • information on alternate routes 
  • help in disaster management 
  • forecasting help 
  • for diplomatic advantage
  • Ease of making maps 
  • Helpful in collecting geological data 
  • search for lost planes 
  • military information _
  • GPS technology used 

Overall, this is the Indian Territorial Navigation Satellite System ie NavIC , hopefully understandable. Below is a link to some other great articles, be sure to read it too;


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