What ails the Navigation Indian Constellation?

  • Navigation Indian Constellation (NavIC) is an independent Indian satellite-based positioning system for critical national applications.
  • The purpose is to provide “reliable position, navigation and timing services over India and its neighbourhood.” NavIC consists of a constellation of seven satellites.
  • Three of the satellites are in a geostationary orbit and four in a geosynchronous one.
  • This means they will be visible at all times in the Indian region.
  • All the seven satellites of NavIC, namely, IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID,1E, 1F and 1G were successfully launched.
  • Because navigation requires the most accurate clocks, the ₹1,420-crore NavIC relies on rubidium clocks. Each of the seven satellites has three of them on-board.
  • However, this January, the Indian Space Research Organisation confirmed that the clocks on the first satellite, IRNSS-1A had failed on June 2016.
  • According to the Indian space agency, the applications of IRNSS are: terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, vehicle tracking and fleet management, terrestrial navigation for hikers and travellers, disaster management, integration with mobile phones, mapping and geodetic data capture and visual and voice navigation for drivers.
  • Though six of the satellites are working fine, the one, faulty one means the “GPS” isn’t working as accurately as it ought to be.

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