Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) Technology


    In News

    National Telecommunications Institute for Policy Research, Innovation and Training (NTIPRIT) conducts a webinar on “NavIC — Opportunities for the Telecom Industry“.


    • The webinar is conducted by NTIPRIT in collaboration with ISRO and the telecom industry.
    • It highlighted the importance and relevance of NavIC technology and making NavIC available on L-1 band in addition to the presently used L-5 band.
      • The L band is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) designation for the range of frequencies.
    • Also, the NavIC system should be made mandatory for mobile phones that can help in tracking the oxygen tankers and other essentials in the time of Covid-19.

    Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) Technology

    • An autonomous regional satellite navigation system,also known as Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), is  developed by ISRO.
    • It has been designed to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary.
    • It will provide two types of services:
      • Standard Positioning Service (SPS): provided to all the users.
      • Restricted Service (RS) : It is an encrypted service provided only to the authorised users. 
    • The IRNSS System is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 m in the primary service area.
    • Presently, it consists of 7 active satellites located at a distance of approximately 36,000 Km.
      • 3 satellites are in Geostationary Orbit (GEO).
      • 4 satellites are in inclined Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO).
    • Geostationary Orbit (GEO): Geostationary orbits fall in the same category as geosynchronous orbits, but it’s parked over the equator. This one special quality makes it unique from geosynchronous orbits.
      • Weather monitoring satellites like GOES are in geostationary orbits because they have a constant view of the same area.
    • Geosynchronous Orbit (GSO): a geosynchronous orbit synchronizes with the rotation of the Earth. 
      • The time it takes for the Earth to rotate on its axis is 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.09 seconds, which is the same as a satellite in a geosynchronous orbit.

    Image Courtesy: Gis Geography

    • India became the fourth country in the world to have its independent regional navigation satellite system recognised by the International Maritime Organisation(IMO).
    • The other three countries that have its navigation systems are the US, Russia and China.

    Image Courtesy: Pinterest 

    Some applications of Navic

    • Terrestrial, Aerial and Marine Navigation, Disaster Management, Vehicle tracking and fleet management, Integration with mobile phones, Precise Timing, Mapping and Geodetic data capture etc.


    • Revenue generation: It will bring healthy competition between various navigation services, and potentially significant revenues for the country.
    • Technological Innovation: NAVIC should also propel technological innovations and spin-offs that render India progressively less reliant on technological imports from the West and elsewhere.
      • India can combine NAVIC with GAGAN—its indigenous augmentation system—to service users on differential rates depending on the navigational precision they seek.
    • Interoperability: NAVIC’s interoperability with GPS can ensure the minimization of technical snags when used complementarity with existing GPS-enabled solutions.
    • Net security providers: It will bolster the ability of a nation to serve as a net security provider along with its neighbours.
      • The US equivalent, Global Positioning System (GPS), played a significant role in relief efforts post disasters such as the tsunami in the Indian Ocean region in 2004 and the Pakistan-India earthquake in 2005.

    Other Satellite Navigation Systems

    Satellite Navigation Systems

    Key Points

    Global Positioning System (GPS)

    • Initiated in 1978 and achieved global coverage in 1995 and is owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Air Force.
    • It consists of 24 to 32 medium Earth orbit satellites in six different orbital planes.

    Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS)

    • Operated by Roscosmos, a state corporation responsible for the space flight and cosmonautics program for the Russian Federation.
    • It became operational in 1982 and achieved global coverage in 1996, and again in 2011 (after the system had fallen into disrepair).
    • It has full global coverage with 24 satellites.


    • It was initiated in 2005 by the European Space Agency and projected to provide global coverage by 2020 with 30 satellites.

    Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS)

    • It is operated by the Japanese government.
    • It is a four-satellite regional time transfer system and enhancement for GPS covering Japan and the Asia-Oceania regions.
    • Its services have been available on a trial basis since January 2018.


    National Telecommunications Institute for Policy Research, Innovation and Training (NTIPRIT) 

    • It is an apex training institute of the Department of Telecommunications.
    • Establishment: In 2010 as National Telecom Academy.
    • Function & objectives: It  involved in conduction of induction Training for probationary officers of Indian Telecommunication Service Group — A (ITS Group A) recruited through All India based Engineering Services Examination conducted by UPSC. 

    GPS Aided Geo Augmentation System (GAGAN)

    • It is a Space Based Augmentation  System (SBAS) jointly developed by ISRO and AAI to provide the best possible navigational services over Indian FIR (Flight Information Region) with the capability of expanding to neighbouring FIRs.
    • GAGAN is a system of satellites and ground stations that provide GPS signal corrections, giving you better position accuracy.
    • Services Offered: Aviation, Forest management, Railways signalling, Scientific Research for Atmospheric Studies, Natural Resource and Land Management, Location based services, Mobile, Tourism.
      • GAGAN provides the additional accuracy, availability, and integrity necessary for all phases of flight, from en-route through approach for all qualified airports within the GAGAN service volume.
    • GAGAN Payload is already operational through GSAT-8, GSAT-10 and GSAT-15 satellites.
    • GAGAN GEO footprint expands from Africa to Australia and GAGAN system has capability to cater 45 reference stations for expansion to neighbouring countries. 
      Source: PIB