India to launch replacement navigation satellites

India is working to launch replacement satellites NVS-01 onwards for the current seven navigation satellites constellation, the Parliament was told on Wednesday.

In a written reply to a question asked in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, said: “The government is working to launch replacement satellites NVS-01 onwards for the current seven satellites constellation. Simultaneously, studies are underway to work out suitable configuration to expand the reach of NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) beyond its current coverage.”

Singh said the usage of NavIC system has increased in India. NavIC finds utilisation in national projects like public vehicle safety, power grid synchronisation, real-time train information system, fishermen safety and others.

Other upcoming initiatives include common alert protocol based emergency warning, time dissemination, geodetic network, unmanned aerial vehicles and others are in the process of adopting the NavIC system, Singh said.

He said many mobile phone models in the country are already having NavIC compatibility.

The minister said the current version of NavIC is compatible with L5 and S bands. This is as per the international frequency coordination and compatibility. With this version, the civilian sector has been penetrated.

With the addition of signal in the L1 band, there will be faster penetration of the civilian sector. The next satellites starting from NVS-01 onwards will have an L1 band for civilian navigational use, Singh said.

NavIC is an independent regional navigation system covering Indian landmass and 1,500 km from Indian boundaries.

The system is designed as a constellation of seven satellites in GEO/GSO orbits. The signals broadcast by these satellites are available free-to-air for civilian use.

The satellite constellation was established during 2013 to 2018 and the system has been functional since then, Singh said to another question.

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