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09Oct2015

India’s Very Own GPS to Be Ready By Next March: ISRO

 

Bengaluru: By March 2016, India’s Global Positioning System (GPS), known as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), and GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) will be ready.

Isro chairman A S Kiran Kumar said that The Indian Satellite Research Organisation (ISRO) is aiming to make signals available from these satellites not only to India and its surrounding countries but to the entire globe.

He was speaking after the inauguration of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) User Meet 2015 at the Isro Satellite Centre (ISAC) jointly organised by Isro and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) at Bengaluru on Thursday.

By March 2016, all the seven satellites of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) are expected to be in orbit. Presently four are in the orbit. The ISRO chairman said that two satellites of the GAGAN System are also in orbit and two more have to be launched.

 “Today we have two of the GAGAN systems in operation also providing service. Four of the navigation satellites (IRNSS) are up in the space and providing the data. The next GAGAN payload is going up on GSAT-15 which is at the launch pad right now. We expect by March 2016 all the seven constellation of IRNSS to be in orbit,” said A S Kiran Kumar.

Recap: China Launches “New Generation” Satellite for BeiDou GPS

The space agency chief said that “in this backdrop, the activities are going on the way we need to take forward the objective of self-reliance. Not only self-reliance, but also trying to provide, extend the process of making these signals available not only within and surrounding our country, but also looking around the globe is also one of the important aspects we will be looking at.” He also complimented AAI and Civil Aviation Department for their efforts in helping Isro provide navigation service to the country, making it only the fourth in the world to provide such service. “….Already, we are having within the country provisions of providing it, we are also looking at how we can extend it to SAARC countries and in the near future gradually extend it over the entire globe,” he said.

Asked how global, he said, “A set of regional things you add, it becomes global, it is a thought process on which we are now working with a few countries…right now, we are doing 1500 km beyond the border, so we can keep adding regions to those things and get global.” Stating that discussions are on with Korea and Gulf countries, he said, “Slowly, we will extend beyond that; it is a matter of less than a decade.”

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