India gets closer to setting up satellite navigation system with PSLV C-22 launch

T.E. Raja Simhan | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018
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India gets closer to setting up satellite navigation system

On Monday night, the dark sky over Sriharikota turned magnificent bright orange as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-22 (PSLV C-22) roared into the sky.

It was a visual treat for those who witnessed the spectacular launch at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre about 90 km north of Chennai.

It was the first near midnight satellite launch by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The huge contingent of the newspersons assembled on the terrace of the media centre continuously applauded as the rocket majestically towards the sky at 11.41 p.m..

The rocket was carrying the first of the satellites of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). The system will provide terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation services and help in disaster and fleet management. It puts India in an elite class of nations having such a system.

About 20 minutes after its launch, the rocket precisely injected the satellite into its intended orbit.

The satellite system is similar to Russia’s Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System, US’ Global Positioning System, European Union’s Galileo and China’s BeiDou satellite navigation system.

It can track people or vehicles and can be of immense use in disaster situations like the recent one in Uttarakhand. The Railways may find it useful to track its wagons.

The satellite will provide accurate position information service to users in India as well the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary.

PSLV – highly reliable

“I am extremely happy to announce that we had another excellent flight of our PSLV vehicle. This is the 23rd successive successful flight of PSLV and the fourth successful flight of extended version of PSLV,” said ISRO’s Chairman K. Radhakrishnan.

“This only proves that PSLV is an extremely reliable vehicle and with this flight, we are also entering into a new era of space application in the country that is the beginning of satellite navigation programme,” he said.

Around Rs 1,430 crore was spent on this mission, including setting up nearly 30 ground segment stations, he later told reporters.

The PSLV-C22 launched the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1A satellite in to a highly oval shaped sub Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit that stretches to 284 km on one side of the Earth to 20,650 km on the other.

IRNSS

Developed by India, the IRNSS-1A is the first of seven satellites that will make up the IRNSS.

The satellite control was taken over by the Mission Control Facility in Hassan, Karnataka. The facility will manage the satellite’s orbit raising operations firing the on-board motors till it is placed in the circular geosynchronous orbit.

All the seven satellites are identical. The second one is getting ready for launch during 2013-14. The whole system will come into play only when all the seven satellites are up in the space, said Radhakrishnan.

The satellite was supposed to be put on the orbit last month. However, the launch was put off due to a problem in one of the electro-hydraulic control actuators in the second stage engine.

>raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

Published on July 01, 2013
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