India plans to have more 2nd Gen NavIC satellites

By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Sriharikota, May 29 (IANS): The Indian space agency is planning to have five more of the second generation navigation satellites at an outlay of about Rs 1,000 crore as part of its NavIC system, said a senior official.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday morning will be launching the first of its second generation navigation satellites called NVS-01.

"Five more of this version of NVS are planned now. Two more are needed after 2 to 3 years to take care of the end of life of present ones," the official told IANS.

According to him, the cost of these five satellites are less than Rs 1,000 crore.

Interestingly, for the first time, an indigenous rubidium atomic clock developed by ISRO's Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad will be flown in NVS-01.

According to the ISRO official, NVS-01 will have one indigenous atomic clock and three procured ones.

Each NaVIC satellite will have three atomic clocks.

Simply put, the NavIC an acronym for Navigation with Indian Constellation (formerly with a long winding name Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System IRNSS) is similar to the GPS (Global Positioning System) of the US, Glonass of Russia and Galileo of Europe as well as China's Beidou.

The NVS-01 will become India's ninth NavIC satellite.

The satellite with a mission life of 12 years is powered by two solar arrays capable of generating power upto 2.4kW and a lithium-ion battery during the eclipse.

NVS series of satellites will sustain and augment the NavIC with enhanced features.

This series has payloads that operate on L1, L5 and S bands thereby widening its services.

The L1 navigation band is popular for providing Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services for civilian users and for interoperability with other Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) signals, ISRO said.

"In addition to the L1 band, we have a highly secured code for strategic signals in L5 and S bands," the ISRO official remarked.

Till now, eight NavIC satellites have been put into orbit by India viz.,-–IRNSS-1A, IRNSS-1B, IRNSS-1C, IRNSS-1D, IRNSS-1E, IRNSS-1F, IRNSS-1G and  IRNSS-1I.

The outlay for the IRNSS/first generation NavIC systems was said to be about Rs 1,420 crore.

According to the ISRO official, out of the eight NavIC satellites in orbit four are functional for navigation services and four others are doing messaging services.

NavIC Satellites

Details                Gen 1           Gen 2

Weight               1,420 kg        2,232 kg

Life Span             10 years       12 years

Operational            L5 & S       L1, L5 & S


Rocket used         PSLV           GSLV

Number of

Satellites             8           1 (5 more planned)



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