NAVIC Current Affairs - 2019
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China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) has started offering global service. It is touted as a rival to America’s Global Positioning System (GPS). Pakistan has become the first foreign nation to use the BeiDou system ending its reliance on GPS.
China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System was the fourth global navigation system after US’s GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.
BeiDou Navigation Satellite System
China has named its navigation satellite system after the Chinese term which means ‘Big Dipper’. BeiDou-1 consisted of three satellites and was offering navigation services mainly in China and neighbouring regions. It was decommissioned in 2012.
The second generation of the navigation system, BeiDou-2 became operational in China in December 2011 with a partial constellation of 10 satellites in orbit and started providing services in the Asia-Pacific region from December 2012. The third generation of the navigation system, BeiDou-3 began to provide global services from 27th December 2018.
China plans to have a total of 33 satellites operating in orbit for BeiDou by the end of 2018 which includes 15 BeiDou-2 satellites and 18 BeiDou-3 satellites. China further plans to launch another 11 BeiDou-3 satellites and one BeiDou-2 satellite in the coming two years to form a complete global network for enhancing the global service performance.
India’s Navigation System
The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) named NAVIC is a regional satellite navigation system that provides accurate real-time positioning and timing services covering India and a region extending 1,500 km around it. NAVIC provides two levels of service, the standard positioning service, which will be open for civilian use, and restricted service for authorized users (including military). There are plans to expand the NavIC system by increasing the number of satellites from 7 to 11.
The Tamil Nadu government has distributed 200 NavIC- powered satellite-enabled communication devices developed by ISRO to 80 fishing boat groups in Tamil Nadu. These gadgets will help the Tamil Nadu fishermen to get cyclone and weather updates on a real-time basis.
These Tamil Nadu government rolled out these devices after Chief Minister K Palaniswami distributed the gadgets to seven fishermen engaged in deep sea fishing in Chennai.
These gadgets, which are of the size of a soapbox, are basically ‘receivers’ which will produce a beep when alerts are received by the device. These are Bluetooth enabled and the alerts received can be read on the NavIC App which can be downloaded on an android phone. The alerts will be in the Tamil language so that the fisherman find it easy to understand. These gadgets have been given free of cost and there is no recurring cost associated with these devices.
What is NavIC?
- NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) can be understood as the Indian version of the American GPS (Global Positioning System).
- The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System constellation consists of eight satellites.
- NavIC provides accurate real-time position, navigation and timing services over India and region extending 1,500 km around Indian borders.
Last year several fishermen went missing in the cyclone Ockhi and Tamil Nadu government had to face severe criticism for not providing timely weather alerts to fishermen. For this reason, the Tamil Nadu government had declared giving these gadgets free of cost to fishermen in this year’s state budget.