ISRO To Grab GPS Goodies
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is reported to be developing an India-specific navigation system along the lines of the Global Positioning System (GPS) at an investment of about Rs 1,600 crore, according to The Economic Times (Indiatimes) online news site. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), comprising seven satellites, should be ready in 2011-12 according to a statement made by the ISRO Chairman, G Madhavan Nair, on September 27th. The system should provide infrastructure for generating data on position, navigation and timing. The data can also be used for various other applications such as agriculture, civil aviation and fisheries.
At present, the US defense department controls the Global Positioning System (GPS). Whether out of ego, pride, or a sense of self-determination and security, other nations wish independence with their own system. Russia is in the process of restoring its own navigation system of 24 satellites, Glonass, by 2009. In addition, Europe is building a satellite navigation system, albeit not without funding difficulties, Galileo, which consists of 30 satellites, with a timetable of 2012-13 for implementation.
For next year’s Chandrayaan 1 mission, the ISRO may co-operate with Japanese Aerospace Exploratory Agency (JAXA). Chandrayaan 1, according to an agency report, will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on April 9, 2008. The ISRO is also planning to launch a radar imaging satellite (Risat) in the second half of 2008. ISRO collaborates with 26 countries for various missions and space applications. This includes a $60 million project for African countries. These countries will make use of space technology for various applications. China is also looking at collaborating with ISRO for building applications for agriculture and land management and is in talks with the Indian agency for using our training facility in Dehradun for space technology—Bangalore, India