India Seeks to Launch Independent Satellite Navigation System
[Satellite TODAY Insider 02-14-11] The Indian Air Force (IAF) unveiled plans to launch seven satellites over the next four to six years to provide own military and civil satellite navigation and imaging service
The constellation, dubbed the Indian Navigation System (INS), aims to enhance surveillance capabilities and improve the accuracy of India’s weapon systems. India uses the U.S. GPS system and signed a deal with the Russian government in 2007 to use its Glonass system as an emergency back-up system for regional crises or conflicts.
"The INS satellites will be placed at a higher geostationary orbit to have a larger signal footprint and lower number of satellites to map the region," IAF officials said in a Feb. 10 statement. IAF officials said the INS system also would be used for other civil applications such as telecommunications, transport, identifying disaster areas, food and supply distribution, and public safety.
The IAF plan follows the Indian Space Research Organization‘s launch of the GPS-supported Geo Augmented Navigation (Gagan) satellite navigation system to aid Indian air traffic. Gagan, based on a constellation of 24 satellites positioned in six different orbital locations, aims to provide seamless coverage of air traffic from South Asia to Africa and connect to the systems of Europe and Japan. It is expected to enhance marine and transport navigation, search and rescue operations, surveying, and mapping.
Indian military officials have yet to disclose costs or contracts pertaining to the INS system.
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