India plans for regional satellite navigation system

India plans for regional satellite navigation system

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India is planning a regional satellite navigation system, similar to the GPS of the United States. India wants to set up the “Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System” (IRNSS), that would be totally under its control.

When implemented, the IRNSS would provide positional accuracy similar to the GPS system for 1,500 km around the country, according to the Notes on Demands for Grants from the Department of Space. A configuration with eight satellites was being studied, say officials of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). In addition, ISRO and the Airports Authority of India are jointly establishing a GPS augmentation system for navigation and precision landing of aircraft over India.

India is also likely to participate in either Galileo, the European-led effort to create an alternative to the GPS system, or GLONASS, the Russian military’s equivalent of GPS. Under the other systems, denial of access to satellite signals or the degrading of signal accuracy, especially in a conflict situation, remains a distinct possibility.