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India Plans to Roll Out National GPS Next Year

© AFP 2021 / MANJUNATH KIRAN A man walks past a poster of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
A man walks past a poster of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) - Sputnik International
The Indian Space Research Organisation is set to offer GPS from its own navigation system for mobile users from next year, aiming to make it more accurate than foreign competitors' products. launch

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New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) plans got a temporary setback with the malfunctioning of one of the NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) satellites. The agency will launch a replacement satellite for IRNSS-1A in August.

ISRO has already achieved the miniaturization of chipsets that are used in wireless devices. The agency's Space Application Centre (SAC) is reportedly working on the development of NavIC user receiver, which is key to finding user position. SAC has the technology for this in larger form.

SAC is working on different kinds of hardware for its applications.

"Our semiconductor laboratory (SCL) in Chandigarh has developed the digital hardware and tested it. Now, the radio frequency front-end hardware is expected to hit the markets next month," The New Indian Express quoted Tapan Misra, director of Ahmedabad-based SAC.

ISRO's attempts to develop the chipsets with the private sector partnership didn't materialize due to high investment requirements. The SCL developed the digital chips and for manufacturing prototypes of RF Front-End hardware, it has roped in the US-based firm Tower Jazz, which specializes in silicon germanium technology suited for increasing bandwidth. ISRO has planned to set up a fabrication facility with silicon germanium processing technology in SCL.

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The Indian space agency retains the intellectual property rights of the design. It will integrate both digital and RF platforms into one device. The integrated technology is expected to offer greater bandwidth and low power digital circuit implementations.

The final version would be an 11-channel chipset (7 NavIC satellites and four GPS satellites) operating under dual frequency (S and L bands), which Misra says actually delivered higher accuracy than GPS.

NavIC will provide standard positioning service to all users with a position accuracy of 5 meters. The GPS, on the other hand, has a position accuracy of 20-30 meters.

"ISRO has proved it can build robust and cost-effective indigenous technologies. NavIC, as we are informed, will be operational with just 7 satellites, compare that to China's Beidou, which is a constellation of 35 satellites," Dr. Mayank N. Vahia, astrophysicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, told Sputnik.


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