What is IRNSS-IH and what is its significance?
The IRNSS-1H is India’s eighth navigation satellite which will be launched into an elliptical Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (Sub-GSTO) on Thursday. The 1,425 kg-heavy satellite will join the NavIC constellation and will provide navigation services for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The satellite would serve as a back-up for IRNSS-1A, one of the seven satellites of the constellation whose three rubidium atomic clocks on board had stopped functioning. The IRNSS-1H is flexible and will therefore be easily compatible with the existing seven satellites in the orbit.
The satellite carries two types of payloads – for navigation and ranging. Navigation service signals will be transmitted to users through the navigation payload whereas the ranging payload facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. The IRNSS-1H is manufactured and owned by the ISRO.
After the IRNSS-1H is injected into the preliminary orbit, its two solar panels will be deployed in quick succession following by the Master Control Facility located at Hassan taking control of the satellite and performing the initial orbit raising maneuvres thus placing it in the designated slot in the sub-GTO, according to the ISRO.
The satellite will be launched into orbit onboard the PSLV-C39 launch vehicle which will undergo its 41st flight today. The lift-off is scheduled at 7 pm from the second launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota.
What are the applications of NavIC?
According to the ISRO, the NavIC system can help fishermen reach potential fishing zones where they would get better fish catch using satellite date of fish aggregation areas. Alerts regarding bad weather or high tide could also be given to fishermen using the messaging services under NavIC. They can also be warned from crossing international boundaries.
Merchant ships can use navigational information to track routes in the ocean. Search and rescue operations will also get easier. The position service of NavIC will help transport operators in tracking their goods. There can be better traffic management in cities, towns and highways.
Some of the other applications include tracking movement of trains, alerting commuters at unmanned railway crossings, managing resources using geo-tagging and geo-fencing and management of land surveys and port operations using NavIC signals.