NavIC – India’s answer to GPS systems of America | GPS alternative by ISRO


Thanks to Global Positioning System (GPS), In modern world, one is never get lost anywhere; GPS lets you track your location with the help of internet connectivity.

So far we are dependent on GPS that is an American initiative. Now India is all set to unveil its own ‘desi’ version of GPS titled ‘NavlC’ now for the country and some surrounding areas.

Here’s all about it.

What is NavIC?

  • NavlC – is an acronym for  ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation’.
  • It is an operational name for Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)
  • The name is chosen by PM Narendra Modi, after the IRNSS-1G satellite was launched.
  • It will provide users with accurate information about the positions and is set to will be ready for the public use by early 2018.

Cost and Timeline:

The project cost Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) an amount of Rs. 1,420 crore and was completed with the successful launch of IRNSS-1G satellite on April 28, 2016.

ISRO’s Project Cost is Rs.1420 Crore

7th Satellite IRNSS-1G launched on April 28, 2016.

IRNSS-1G was the last among the seven satellites in constellation which helps the NavlC positioning.

Though, the ‘desi’ positioning system is operational now, it is not ready for public use as of yet.

What is the difference between NavIC and GPS?

India, till now, using the American GPS, which started in 1973.

There have been hurdles when we use a third country’s resource one fine example is The United States had denied providing GPS information to India in 1999, during the Kargil War.

With the indigenous positioning system, India will also be among the countries that have their own positioning systems like America’s GPS, European Union’s Galileo and Russia’s GLONASS.

What areas it is going to cover?

Space Applications Centre director, Tapan Misra

On the other hand, China is also building its own Beidou Navigation Satellite System, which is not operational yet.

Is there a technical difference from GPS?

NavlC covers India and its surroundings with seven satellites in the constellation, while America’s GPS uses 24 satellites but provides the positioning service across the world.

NavIC will be providing standard positioning service to all users with a position accuracy of 5 metre. The present GPS of US has a position accuracy of 20-30 metre.

How is it superior from others?

SAC director Tapan Misra has told that since NavIC is not dependent on any model to find the frequency error it will be more accurate than GPS.”

Misra also stressed on the fact that NavlC is being made ready for common public as well with the development of digital chips, which can be used in mobiles and handsets.

Release: It’s just a matter of time

Mr Misra has added that “Academic institutions doing ground verification and data calibration for NavIC to find its accuracy. For the technology to be used in in mobiles and other electronic gadgets the Space application centre have developed digital chips.

The Indian Army Force (IAF) has already made receivers compatible with NavlC. The military service will supposedly use the positioning system to track aircrafts and deliver missiles.

Future Uses

India’s own positioning system would aid in various things ranging from disaster management to terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation. For drivers on the road it will provide visual and voice navigation to help with directions.

It can also be used with mobile phones like how GPS is used, and will help users with tracking and locating in unknown areas.

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