ISRO planning to extend navigation services to SAARC nations

“GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) and Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) applications are expected to be extended to SAARC Nations,” an ISRO official said on Thursday.

While addressing the gathering at second Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) User Meet – 2015 A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said, “Already we are having within the country the provision for providing the services, we are looking at how we can extend this (navigation services) to SAARC countries in the near future and gradually extending for the entire globe.” Further Kumar added, “Both GAGAN and IRNSS are certified for operation and this makes India only the fourth country in the world to provide satellite navigation system.”

isro planning to launch navigation services to SAARC nations
ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar at the GNSS User Meet 2015

What is GAGAN and IRNSS

Presently, India is pursuing two satellite navigation programs viz. GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) and IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System). GAGAN is jointly implemented by ISRO and Airports Authority of India (AAI). If the reports are to believed, there are total seven satellites of IRNSS constellation out of which four are already in orbit while the remaining three will be launched by March 2016.

Earlier in June 2015, space agency chief A.S. Kiran Kumar announced that India will launch a dedicated two-tonne satellite which will have 12 Ku band transponders for the eight SAARC countries by December 2016 to provide a range of public services such as communication, education, tele-medicine, disaster monitoring and other need-based services.

The applications of IRNSS includes terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, precise timing, disaster management, mapping and geodetic data capture, automated logistics in factories, construction sites and mines, vehicles tracking and fleet management, terrestrial navigation for hikers and travellers and integration with mobile phones.

Whereas the applications included in GAGAN includes Surveying emergency response, business solutions, geographical data collection, natural resources, land management, scientific research and geodynamics.

ISRO had recently launched its own space observatory along with six other satellites for foreign nations. It was also told in the meet that the signals have been made available from space and these signals can be used to fulfill only one purpose i.e. creative imagination. So as to increase the signals of IRNSS, somewhere around 200 receiver systems will be set up incorporating ISRO and industry design.

While appreciating the works of ISRO, Kumar said ISRO has the ability to fulfill the needs and demands of India and 28 different products were produced within India.

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