New Delhi: Airports Authority of India organized a user interaction meet and panel discussion on the utilization of the GAGAN (GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) System at the Geospatial World Forum held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre between 23-25 January 2017. The Geospatial World Forum (GWF) is a mega geospatial business cum technical event, happening since the past decade, highlighting the value and power of geospatial technology as an enabler in addressing global economic and socio-economic issues. Started in 2007 in India, the conference has travelled to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Geneva and Lisbon in the past years.
The GAGAN workshop at the Geospatial World Forum was a big success with attendance of delegates from across the stakeholder community. The workshop was addressed by Mansoor Ahmad, GM AAI, detailing about the major initiatives taken by AAI for technological advancement in civil aviation sector by developing and implementing India’s first Satellite-based Navigation System.
In May 2015, India operationalized its GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation system (GAGAN) — jointly developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The GAGAN system is a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) that complements the capability of the existing Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) by providing reference signals that have greater accuracy, continuity, reliability and integrity compared to GPS signals.
There was a demonstration of the GAGAN messaging service by Accord Systems. Receiver manufactures, state Departments of Science and Technology representatives, Survey of India, National Remote Sensing Centre, Indian National Center for Oceanic Information Studies (INCOIS), students, and UAV manufacturers were some of the prominent attendees. The panel of experts deliberated on current application of GAGAN in the non-aviation sector, challenges being faced by the stakeholder community and mitigation steps required.
The concept of exciting new service utilizing the GAGAN system called the GAGAN Messaging Service, popularly titled GAMES, was presented and explained by advisor to AAI and former Program Director for IRNSS and GAGAN, Dr Ganeshan. The GAGAN messaging service would be a game changer for last mile connectivity and broadcast 300 character messages via satellite where no other conventional means of communication are available.
The best part of GAMES will be its availability on a normal handheld mobile device. The panelists also deliberated on how to encourage utilization of the GAGAN system, and one of the ideas mooted was .it could be mandated by the government that wherever GPS requirements are mentioned in tenders, it should be suffixed with “GAGAN-enabled”.
It was also reiterated by the panelists that with GAGAN’s footprint extending from Africa to Australia, the Indian geospatial community has a large market opportunity to take the lead for offering GAGAN based applications. GAGAN provides the most affordable precision solutions with highest integrity and sky is the limit for GAGAN based applications.