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Isro successfully deploys NavIC NVS-1 satellite: What it means for India?

The NVS-1 spacecraft is a significant step forward in the development of the next-generation NavIC satellite system

NavIC NVS-1 satellite

Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Monday successfully launched its fifth satellite of 2023. A 2,232-kilogram satellite named NVS-1 was launched into space as part of the NavIC series. This mission employed the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) F12 rocket, which took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

The NVS-1 satellite is a significant milestone in the advancement of next-generation Navigation with the Indian Constellation (NavIC) satellite system. Its primary purpose is to enhance India’s navigational capabilities.

The development of this system was driven by the growing requirements of the country's civil aviation sector, specifically for improved positioning, navigation, and timing services.

What is NavIC?

Isro's NavIC system is a regional satellite navigation system. It is made up of seven satellites in orbit that function in tandem with ground stations. The network provides navigational services to both ordinary and strategic customers, including the military.

The NavIC system was developed in response to the growing needs of India's civil aviation sector with the purpose of boosting positioning, navigation, and timing capabilities. The coverage area extends beyond India's borders, encompassing regions up to 1,500 kilometres beyond its borders.

The NavIC satellites have a variety of applications such as in terrestrial, aerial, and marine transportation, location-based services, personal mobility, resource monitoring, surveying and geodesy, scientific research, time dissemination and synchronisation, and safety-of-life alert dissemination.

What makes NVS-1 unique?

The recently-launched NVS-1 satellite is part of the second-generation NavIC satellite series. It ensures the continuation of existing NavIC services while simultaneously offering new services in the Li band. The spacecraft is built with the standard 1-2K bus and is compatible with the GSLV rocket's launch criteria.

NVS-1 is outfitted with two solar arrays capable of generating up to 2.4 kW of power, as well as a lithium-ion battery to support the payload and bus load during eclipses.

The satellite features passive and active thermal management systems, a unified bi-propellant propulsion system, and a three-axis body-stabilised zero-momentum system with reaction wheels.

It is to be noted that the component of the payload includes a Rubidium atomic clock built in-house by the Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad. The presence of this clock is significant as it is a sophisticated technology that only a few countries possess, showcasing India's technical strengths in this field.

India's launch capabilities highlighted

The Indian space agency's recent launch is the second successful mission in a month and the fifth of the year. Prior to this, in April, the agency completed the PSLV-C55 mission, which included the deployment of two satellites. Among them, the primary satellite was TeLEOS-2, equipped with a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payload.

The PSLV-C55 mission was significant as it enabled the launch of two Singaporean satellites and seven Indian experiments. This mission demonstrated India's and Singapore's combined efforts in space exploration and technology.

The mission's major goal was to launch the TeLEOS-2 satellite, which is equipped with SAR technology and can perform enhanced remote sensing.

This mission marks the ninth flight of the GSLV with the indigenous cryogenic stage. The GSLV, with a height of 51.7 metres and a lift-off mass of 420 tonnes, is a heavyweight rocket. It is expected to reach an apogee (highest point) of 36,568 kilometres, and the payload is set to separate after approximately 18 minutes of flight.

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First Published: May 29 2023 | 6:55 PM IST

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