The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) today launched its 6th IRNSS-1F navigation satellite via its work horse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-32) from Sriharikota at 4.01pm, with the next and final one in the series scheduled next month to complete constellation of seven navigation satellites to become indigenous with complete control over the country’s navigation system and join the ranks of US-based global positioning system (GPS) or the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).
The IRNSS-1F is part of the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System of seven satellites and the next and final in the series IRNSS-1G will be launched next month, said ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar. “The PSLV put the sixth satellite into the right orbit. We have only one more satellite left in this constellation to complete our sequence of seven satellites to complete our regional navigational system,” he said after the launch.
With the launch of the 7th and final satellite, the IRNSS navigation will become operational and reduce India’s dependence on foreign satellites for its communication needs and military requirements. The first five satellites, IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C,ID and 1E , were launched on 2 July 2013, 4 April 2014, 16 October 2014, 28 March 2015 and 20 January, respectively and all are functioning satisfactorily.
The IRNSS-1F satellite, with a lift-off mass of 1,425kg, will be placed in a sub-geosynchronous transfer orbit. With the next satellite, three will be in Geostationary Earth Orbit and four in Geosynchronous orbit. Once the constellation is in place, it gives position accuracy of 20 metres over the country about 1,500 sq.km around the borders.
While its Standard Positioning Services are for general and commercial purposes, the Restricted Services will be available only to the defence and government needs. The satellites will be linked to 18 ground stations for the generation and transmission of navigation parameters. (All Photos: ISRO)