LAUNCH OF IRNSS-1E
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ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C31 has successfully launched the fifth navigation satellite Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-1E (total 7 IRNSS navigation satellites will be launched) into geosynchronous orbit.
The other four that were already launched are: IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, and 1D.
Till now, with the existing navigation satellites we are getting signals for 18 hrs a day. With the launch of 5th satellite, we would get navigation signals 24 hrs a day.
This is also the 32nd consecutive successful launch of PSLV, which is India’s smaller rocket.
In the world, only USA, Russia and China have an operational navigation satellite system. Now, India joins this big league.
- GLONASS – Russia
- Beidou – China (regional navigation system)
- COMPASS – China (global navigation system to be operational by 2020)
- Galileo – European Union (to be operational by 2016 and fully deployed by 2020)
- QZSS – Japan’s regional system (not yet functional)
The navigation satellite gives physical position of an object on the earth – its coordinates, latitude, longitude and other related information. India’s IRNSS would provide an accuracy of less than 20m.
The IRNSS would give signals in two frequency bands and provides two services:
- Standard Positioning Services (SPS), for general user which is an un-encrypted signal. This is can be used by normal people on their devices.
- Restricted Services (RS), for authorised users. This is mainly for armed forces which is an encrypted signal, restricted and used for strategic purposes. The accuracy of Restricted Service signal is much higher than SPS signal.
Why IRNSS and why can’t we use USA’s GPS or other countries’ systems?
- GPS has inbuilt error in it. It cannot be used for launching/firing missiles.
- Legally forbidden for use during times of war.
- The IRNSS gives India the capability of having 24x7 reliable navigation signals, even up to 1500 KM outside India’s borders. This will help our armed forces to target missiles accurately. It will also help in “network-centric war”.
- The IRNSS is completely under the control of India.
Towards the end of this year, ISRO is planning to launch the SAARC satellite. This is a communication satellite, which is a gift from India for all the South Asian nations. This will be helpful in communications during disasters; it will keep the Ministry of External Affairs and Foreign Affairs of the SAARC countries together; and it will also help in general communication, television broadcasting in all the SAARC countries.
Last year ISRO launched ASTRO Sat, which is India’s first live astronomical laboratory-in-orbit (a telescope in space). It is fully functional now.
In 2015, India also launched GSAT-6, which is a multimedia communication satellite with un-furl able antenna. This is used for two way communication of streaming data and video.
In 2017, ISRO is planning to revisit the Moon by its Chandrayaan-II. Chandrayaan-I was an orbiting satellite which was launched in 2008. Chandrayaan-II will have an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The lander will land on the Moon and Indian flag will be placed on the Moon. The rover is like a small car which runs around the Moon’s surface and collect data. The Chandrayaan-II is going to be launched by GSLV which is under final stages of construction and testing.
ISRO could name the satellites after living/most recent scientists, like USA, who contributed extremely well to the space research, so that there would be inspiration to young minds and awareness to common people. Till now, we have only two satellites named after famous personalities – KALPANA (named after Kalpana Chawla) and Aryabhatta.