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Focus on NavIC, ISRO’s future satellites to get additional frequency

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    16th Dec, 2022

Context

With an aim to promote the civilian use of NAVigation with the Indian Constellation (NavIC), the regional navigation satellite system developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is introducing the L1 frequency in all its future satellites.

About

  • The L1 frequency is one of the most commonly used frequencies in the Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • It aims to increase the use of the regional navigation system in wearable devices and personal trackers that use low-power, single-frequency chips.
  • At present, the satellites operate on two frequencies — L5 and S bands.

Navigation through L1, L5, and S bands:

  • Satellites are a common way to enable location-based services (LBS). IRNSS/NavIC has two signals: one co-located with GPS L5 at 1176.75 MHz and the other at 2492.028 MHz
  • This latter signal (in S-band) is currently unique among positioning systems.
  • Receivers can use the L5 signal — along with GPS, GALILEO, BDS, or GLONASS signals in the L1 band — to provide the benefits of the dual-frequency operation.
  • Both signals can be used independently to provide a single-frequency position.
  • The NavIC system also plans to transmit ionospheric correction data for the coverage region, providing improved accuracy.

The Need for the initiative:

  • The Navigation with Indian Constellation (NaVIC) uses seven satellitesto provide real-time positioning and timing services in India and an area extending up to 1,500 km from the country’s borders.
  • However, several satellites of the constellation are over-utilized and outlived their lives and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)now plans to replace at least five of these with the improved L-Band, which would enable it to offer better global positioning services to the public.
  • This will be achieved by using the other five satellites which are in production and as they have to be launched periodically to replace the existing defunct satellites. The new satellites will have L-1, L-5, and S Bands.

Significance:

  • The new satellites NVS-01 introduced USING L1 technologies are meant to replace these satellites and can be used by devices that run on low power, single-frequency chips such as smart watches and security systems.

The NVS-01 satellite, according to annual reports of the Department of Space, is set to replace one of ISRO’s seven navigational satellites currently in space.

  • The satellites placed directly over India also ensure better availability of signals in varied geographical regions compared to GPS, which India receives at an angle making it difficult to access in dense forests or valleys.

Uses:

NavIC finds utilisation in national projects like;

  • public vehicle safety,
  • power grid synchronisation, and
  • real-time train information system and
  • Fishermen safety.

Upcoming Developments:

  • Two of these satellites — IRNSS-1B and IRNSS-1C — will complete their 10-year mission life in 2024.
  • Other upcoming initiatives (such as) common alert protocol-based emergency warning, time dissemination, geodetic network and unmanned aerial vehicles are in the process of adopting NavIC system.
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