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PSLV C26 successfully injects navigation satellite into designated orbit

IRNSS navigation system is part of India's aspiration to build regional navigational system equivalent of GPS

Gireesh Babu  |  Sriharikotta 

Indian Space Research Organisation’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C26) carrying Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System, lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota

The 28th flight of Indian Space Research Organisation's (Isro's) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV)-C26 has successfully launched the independent navigation satellite system Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) into its designated orbit.

This is the third satellite of IRNSS, an independent regional navigation satellite system being developed by India to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending upto 1,500 kms from its boundary.

The rocket took off from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, at Sriharikota, about 90 kilometers from Chennai, at 1.32 am. The satellite was successfully put into its geostationary orbit after 20 minutes. PSLV - C26 has used the XL version of PSLV, which is used for the seventh time now.

Announcing the success of the launch, Isro Chairman K Radhakrishnan said: "India's third navigational satellite is up in the orbit. The injection has been very precise."

The satellite was integrated and made ready for the launch in 60 days and around 1,000 people worked round the clock for last four days.

The next four satellites in the constellation will be launched soon, as the target is to complete launch of all the seven satellites by 2015.

The next satellite in the IRNSS is scheduled to be launched in December, this year.

The activities of Isro is in a stage where the fruits of the space technology system are translated into service for the benefits of the people in the country and currently thrbcountry is seeing that in the state of Andhra Pradesh indisaster management activities, he said.

Jitendra Singh, minister of state, Prime Minister's Office, who was present at the ovcassion said that the Indian scientists are already doing what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisaged through the Make i India campaign.

While the satellite launch was originally scheduled to happen on October 10 at 1.56 am, on October 6, the Space Research Organisation has postponed the launch by one week, due to an observation on the performance of telecommand system during the launch rehearsal. Later, the 67 hour countdown for the launch started on October 13 for the launch of the vehicle in the early hours of October 16.

IRNSS-1C has two types of payloads - navigation payload and a CDMA ranging payload. The navigation payload of IRNSS-1C will transmit navigation service signals to the users. The ranging payload consisting of a C-band transponder which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite

It is the third navigation satellite, of the seven satellites constituting the IRNSS space segment. Its predecessors, IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B were launched by PSLV-C22 and PSLV-C24 in July 2013 and April 2014 respectively. IRNSS-1C has a lift-off mass of 1425.4 kg. The configuration of IRNSS-1C is similar to that of IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B.

The launch of the constellation is part of the Indian aspirations to build a regional navigational system equivalent to GPS of developed countries.

IRNSS, is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India. It is designed to provide accurate information service to users in India as well as the region extending upto 1,500 kms from its boundary, which is the primary service area of IRNSS, which will provide two types of services including Standard Positioning Service, which is provided to all the users and Restricted Services. IRNSS comprises of a space and a ground segments.

IRNSS segment consists of seven satellites, including three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in inclined geosynchronous orbit. IRNSS-1A and IRNSS-1B, the first two satellites of the IRNSS constellation, have already started functioning from their designated orbital slot after extensive on orbit test and evaluation to confirm their satisfactory performance. IRNSS ground segment is responsible for navigation parameter generation and transmission, satellite control, ranging and integrity monitoring as well as time keeping.

The applications of IRNSS include terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, integration with mobile phones, precise timing, mapping and geodetic data capture, terrestrial navigation aid for hikers and travelers and visual and voice navigation for drivers.

GSLV Mark III test in 45 days

The next two months, within the end of December, 2014, the Indian Space Research Centre is expected to execute three rocket launches including the crucial test flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mark III).

"The launch of GSLV Mark III will be with an unmanned crew module on board and it will be happening in 45 days," said K Radhakrishnan, chairman of ISRO.

The GSLV Mk III is conceived and designed to make Isro fully self reliant in launching heavier communication satellites of INSAT-4 class, which weigh 4,500 to 5,000 kg. It would also enhance the capability of the country to be a competitive player in the multimillion dollar commercial launch market. The vehicle envisages multi-mission launch capability for GTO, LEO, Polar and intermediate circular orbits.

Once this vehicle is proven successful, India need not depend on European space consortium, Arianespace, to carry its four-tonne class of Insat communication satellites. This rocket will also be used to fly astronauts from Sriharikota. It may be noted that the Narendra Modi government has increased its budgetary allocation from Rs 10 crore to Rs 171 crore to develop this vehicle, according to reports.

Another launch would be of the GSAT -16, a geostationary communication satellite which will support satellite based telecommunication, television, VSAT and other services in the country. The satellite will be launched from French Guiana in December.

In the same month, it is also expected to launch the fourth navigation satellite in the INRSS constellation. PSLV-C26 successfully launches IRNSS 1C

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First Published: Thu, October 16 2014. 14:20 IST