India successfully launches 5th navigation satellite IRNSS-1E

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ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C31, successfully launched  IRNSS-1E, the fifth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) , Sriharikota (A.P). With this successful launch India has moved closer to joining a select group of nations possessing their own satellite navigation systems.

Why we need our own satellite navigation systems ?

Our own regional navigation systems holds crucial importance because access to foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems is not guaranteed in hostile situations and we faced such a situation during Kargil War in 1999, when Indian military needed GPS data for the region but US denied the access of Vital information through GPS so a need for an indigenous satellite navigation system was felt  so that we are not dependent on  foreign government-controlled global navigation satellite systems and our scientist have nearly achieved by developing Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System.

Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System :

  • The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS is an indigenously developed Navigation Satellite System that is used to provide accurate real-time positioning and timing services over India and region extending to 1500 km around India.
  • The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) consists of a constellation of seven satellites  of which 3 satellites will be placed in GEO orbit and 4 satellites will be placed in GSO orbit. approximately 36,000 km altitude above earth surface.
  • Of the seven satellites that are needed five satellites namely IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D and IRNSS-1E-have been put into orbit till date. In the coming months, the remaining two satellites of this constellation, namely, IRNSS-1F and IG, are scheduled to be launched by PSLV, thereby completing the entire IRNSS constellation.
  • The IRNSS is similar to the global positioning system (GPS) of the US (24 satellites), Glonass of Russia, and Galileo of Europe, China's Beidou although other systems are global, the Indian system is regional in nature.
  • Costing : Each satellite costs around Rs. 150 crores while the PSLV-XL version rocket costs around Rs. 130 crores. The seven rockets would involve an outlay of around Rs. 910 crores.

Application :

  • IRNSS is different from other navigational systems of the world as it comprises of only seven satellites while other similar systems in the world have more than 20 satellites 
  • Once fully operational, the IRNSS will provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km. It would be used for defence purposes as well.
  • IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) - provided to all users - and Restricted Services (RS), provided to authorised users. 
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