New Delhi, After launch of the final satellite of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite (IRNSS) on April 28. India now competes with Global Positioning System (GPS) of United States. IRNSS includes set of seven different satellites that work together to uplift India’s status in space technology.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has named it NAVIC. In his speech after the success of this project he said “The world will know it as Navic…. The new technology will benefit our people, our fishermen. This is a great gift to people from scientists,” Modi said. He added: “With this successful launch, we will determine our own paths powered by our technology.”
NAVIC stands for Navigation with Indian Constellation. It has placed us on fifth position in the race of countries those have their own GPS systems after USA, EU, Russia and China. This project initially started in 2013 when one after another satellites where launched without a single failure.
Here is the list of Navic Features which can benefit Indians:
- NAVIC will improve positioning accuracy: Compared to what? GPS? No. The stated accuracy of NAVIC is 10 – 20 meters whereas that of even low cost GPS receivers is less than 5 metres. Techniques like RTK already deliver centimeter level accuracy with GPS (Note: a. RTK can be used with NAVIC as well, but unless they state what accuracy they can attain with RTK, this claim cannot be made. b. It is possible that military gets access to a more accurate service, but again, this was not stated)
- NAVIC will help fisherman / comman man: Yes, but in what ways would that be better than GPS which they are already using? People don’t have to pay anything to use GPS so it’s not like NAVIC would make things cheaper.
- Till now India has been mostly dependent on US for its GPS need. However,when the US denied GPS information during the kargil war 1999,India started work on its own GPS system.
- The GPS system will be used for terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, vehicle tracking, fleet management, disaster management, geodetic data capture and navigation for drivers.
- The entire project costs Rs 12 per Indian citizen that is 1420 crore in total. NAVIC in national language means “the boat man”. How successful this boatman goes in future only time will tell.
But it has some DRAWBACKS too :
- It does not offer global coverage and covers only India and its neighbourhood. Commercial airline that fly over India will not install it because they already had GPS-tracking device on board.
- Compared to the US GPS, which has a precision of 5m and global coverage, IRNSS covers a 1,500-km radius with India at the centre. However, it will reduce India’s dependence on the US and Russia’s GLONASS particularly during emergencies including military situations.