Countdown starts for launch of Isro's IRNSS-1I navigation satellite

ISRO to launch navigation satellite on Arpil 12

IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system created to provide position information in the Indian region and 1,500 km around the Indian mainland.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is not facing any funds crunch for its ongoing activities, chairman K Sivan said on Thursday. Their luck already seems to be turning. The Times of India reported Tuesday that ISRO continues to track the satellite in orbit, suggesting GSAT 6A remains intact. "Earlier, we were searching in the dark". The satellite had cost the country Rs 270 crore, according to The Times of India.

Here's some trivia about the upcoming launch. "It will be the start of Isro's journey of using the industry to be system integrators of satellites", said an Isro scientist, who did not want to be named. He informed that two teams are working simultaneously out of which one team is busy restoring the link with GSAT-6A and the other in preparation of the launch of navigation satellite IRNSS-1I, which is the eighth satellite to join the constellation of navigation satellites.

After 19 minutes, 20 seconds following the lift-off, the rocket will sling IRNSS-1I at an altitude of around 507 km.

The satellite's inputs would also be used for regulating road transport, air navigation, communication, disaster management, ocean patrol, overall surveillance measures, etc.

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The IRNSS-1I will replace the IRNSS-1A which was rendered ineffective as the onboard atomic clocks had failed. The previous mission to launch a replacement last August - IRNSS-1H-had ended in a failure after a technical fault on the final leg following a flawless launch.

ISRO says the receiver will be connected to fishermen's phones' via Bluetooth.

IRNSS 1I is scheduled to enter service in May, after four orbit-raising burns with the satellite's main engine to climb into a circular geosynchronous-type orbit at an altitude of more than 22,000 miles. The former, operating in L5-band and S-band, will transmit navigation service signals to the users.

Meanwhile, ranging payload of IRNSS-1I consists of a C-band transponder, which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. It also carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for LASER Ranging.

Starting in July 2013, the Indian space agency has launched eight navigation satellites, with the last one launched on August 31, 2017. The satellite has been successfully placed in the designated orbit.

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