NAVIC Current Affairs

Launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1H unsuccessful: ISRO

The launch of IRSO’s eight navigation satellite IRNSS-1H onbaord of PSLV-C39 from Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh was unsuccessful. The heat shield did not separate as a result of which satellite did not complete the 4th stage.

The IRNSS-1H was being sent to space to back up and replace the functions of India’s first navigation satellite IRNSS-1A (launched in July 2013) as its three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning.

The rubidium atomic clocks on board of IRNSS-1A that stopped working were imported from European aerospace manufacturer Astrium. The atomic clocks are used to find satellite’s position with an accuracy of 0.5 metre.

IRNSS-1H

IRNSS-1H was India’s first satellite actively built by consortium of private firms led by Bengaluru-based Alpha Design Technologies. The consortium had completed 25% development work of IRNSS-1H, under the guidance of ISRO scientists. Prior to development of this satellite, private sector’s role was only limited to supplying components to ISRO.

IRNSS

The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an independent regional system developed by India on par with the US-based GPS, Russia’s Glonass and Galileo developed by Europe. The navigation system offers wide services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management visual and voice navigation for drivers. It was named “Navic” (Navigation with Indian Constellation) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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ISRO and CSIR-NPL sign MoU for time and frequency traceability services

The ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) and CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) have signed MoU to make indigenous regional positioning system-NavIC independent from the US clock system.

Until now, the satellites on NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) managed by the ISRO relied on the US GPS to ensure that the clocks aboard were working at the high-precision required in satellite-based communication.

Significance of MoU

The MoU will help the NAVIC to get formally synchronized with the Indian Standard Time (IST) which is being maintained by the Delhi-based NPL – the timekeeper of India. It will also help in making NAVIC to get fully operational in the market for commercial purposes as time synchronisation is essential for all kinds of services such as financial transactions, digital archiving, stock handling, time stamping, national security or prevention of cyber-crimes etc.

NavIC

Formally called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary. NavIC System consists of constellation of seven satellites (namely IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G) of which three are geostationary and four are non-geostationary.

National Physical Laboratory (NPL)

The NPL is part of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CISR). It is the measurement standards laboratory of India. It maintains standards of SI units in India and calibrates the national standards of weights and measures. It is only agency in India authorised to maintain Indian Standard Time (IST) and hosts most accurate clocks in the country with accuracy of ±20 nanoseconds through the Primary Time Scale (PTS), an ensemble of five caesium clocks and one hydrogen maser.

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