Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch IRNSS-1H, India’s eighth navigation satellite, on board rocket PSLV C39 on 31 August 2017.
The satellite will lift off at 7 pm from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The 29-hour countdown for the mission began at 2 pm on 30 August.
• The satellite IRNSS-1H is a part of the indigenous navigation system called ‘NavIC’ that was initially planned to have a constellation of seven satellites.
• It is being launched as a backup navigation satellite for IRNSS-1A, first of the seven satellites in the constellation, as three of its rubidium atomic clocks on board, which are meant to provide accurate location data, had stopped functioning.
• The new satellite boasts of a much-improved version of atomic clocks which will ensure correctness of time and improve synchronization of equipment on Earth.
• Similar to its IRNSS predecessors, IRNSS-1H also carries two types of payloads such as navigation payload and ranging payload:
- The navigation payload of IRNSS-1H will transmit navigation service signals to the users. This payload will be operating in L5-band and S-band.
- The ranging payload of IRNSS-1H comprises a C-band transponder, which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. IRNSS-1H also carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging.
The 1,425-kg spacecraft was built and tested by ISRO along with a consortium of six small and medium industries, led by Bengaluru-based Alpha Design Technologies that successfully completed 25 percent of the development work of IRNSS-1H, under the guidance of ISRO scientists.
This marks the first time in India’s history when the private sector has actively participated in assembling and testing of a satellite. Previously, the role of the private sector was limited to only supplying components.
The private company, Alpha Design Technologies has also received the order to build another navigation satellite IRNSS-1I, which is scheduled to be launched by April 2018.
About NavIC system
• The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India that is equivalent to US-based GPS service.
• It was named 'NavIC' (Navigation with Indian Constellation) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
• The system offers services including terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aid for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers.
• Having footprint of the whole of India, the system aims to help user agencies to plan and monitor their vehicular movements on both land and sea.
• It will also make valuable contributions to an accurate survey of territories.
• According to ISRO, telecom and power grid operations would also be able to benefit immensely from the data of the NavIC system.
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