Home grown alternative to GPS, know all about India's "NavIC".

Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC), also called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is considered on par with US-based GPS, Russia’s Glonass and Galileo developed by Europe.

Making innovative applications to the entire community in the ocean-based services, especially for the underserved and unserved, the NavIC constellation is really going to create history, according to ISRO Chairman K Sivan.

By using receivers on the ground, IRNSS-1I will help in determining position and time accurately through signals in a space covering India.

Standard Positioning Service (SPS) and Restricted Service (RS), which are provided to all and authorised users respectively, are the services associated with IRNSS.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi named the independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India as “NavIC” which offers services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, a navigation aid for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers.

Built at a cost of $174 million, NavIC was originally approved in 2006 and became operational in 2018. 

Consisting of eight satellites,  NavIC is currently being used for providing emergency warning alerts to fishermen venturing into the deep sea where there is no terrestrial network connectivity and in public vehicle tracking in India.

In order to ensure the availability of NavIC signal in any part of the world, India’s satellite navigation draft policy in 2021 stated the government will work towards “expanding the coverage from regional to global.”

With the aim of removing dependence on foreign satellite systems for navigation service requirements, NavIC is conceived particularly for “strategic sectors.”

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