NEW DELHI: From next year onwards if you ever lose your way in any part of the country or anywhere in the Arabian sea, ‘NavIC’ will come to your rescue and help you find your bearings. Yes, India’s very own desi Global Positioning System(GPS) is operational and is set to hit the market for public use in early 2018.
“The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) with an operational name of NavIC is currently being tested for its accuracy and is most likely to be available in the market for public use early next year,” said Tapan Misra, the director of Ahmedabad-based Space Application Centre (SAC).
India needed a constellation of seven satellites in space to complete its Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), a feat the country was able to achieve on April 28, 2016, when Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully launched IRNSS-1G, the seventh satellite in the series, and guided it to its orbit.
NavIC (‘Navigation with Indian Constellation’ whose Hindi meaning is ‘sailor’ or ‘navigator’), the name given by PM Narendra Modi after the launch of IRNSS-1G, is designed to provide accurate position information to users within the country. “Though American GPS with 24 satellites in a constellation has wider reach and covers the entire world, NavIC with seven satellites covers only India and its surroundings but is more accurate than the American system. NavIC will provide standard positioning service to all users with a position accuracy of 5 metre. The GPS, on the other hand, has a position accuracy of 20-30 metre,” the SAC director said. The less the distance more is the accuracy of the navigation device in finding the real location.