In news– The Indian government is pushing smartphone makers to enable support for its NavIC navigation system in new devices sold in the country from 2023.
- NavIC is the name of the independent stand-alone navigation satellite system of India.
- This system was earlier known as IRNSS (Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System).
- The name NavIC was coined by the Hon. Prime Minister of India on the occasion of completion of the constellation in April 2016.
- It was developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- NavIC was originally approved in 2006 at a cost of $174 million. It was expected to be completed by late 2011, but only became operational in 2018.
- NavIC consists of eight satellites and covers the whole of India’s landmass and up to 1,500 km (930 miles) from its boundaries.
- Currently, NavIC’s use is limited. It is being used in public vehicle tracking in India, for providing emergency warning alerts to fishermen venturing into the deep sea where there is no terrestrial network connectivity, and for tracking and providing information related to natural disasters.
- NavIC, like any other navigation satellite system, consists of three segments:
- Space segment: Consists of the constellation of satellites.
- Ground segment: Consists of a network of ground stations that generate navigation data to be uplinked to the satellites, and subsequently to be used by the user receiver for aiding in position computation.
- User segment: Consists of the users utilizing the navigation signals for the purpose of position, navigation, and timing.
- The main difference between GPS & NavIC is the serviceable area covered by these systems.
- GPS caters to users across the globe and its satellites circle the earth twice a day, while NavIC is currently for use in India and adjacent areas.
- Like GPS, there are three more navigation systems that have global coverage – Galileo from the European Union, Russia-owned GLONASS and China’s Beidou.
- QZSS, operated by Japan, is another regional navigation system covering the Asia-Oceania region, with a focus on Japan.
- India’s 2021 satellite navigation draft policy stated the government will work towards “expanding the coverage from regional to global” to ensure availability of NavIC signals in any part of the world.
- India says NavIC is conceived with the aim of removing dependence on foreign satellite systems for navigation service requirements, particularly for “strategic sectors.”
GAGAN & NaIC-
Following are the major differences between GAGAN and NavIC systems:
|An augmentation to the GPS||An independent stand-alone navigation system|
|Provides integrity information||Does not provide integrity information|
|Provides safety-of-life operation support||Does not support safety-of-life operations|