India will launch the second of seven satellites that will form the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) next month.
IRNSS-1B will be lofted aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C24)—India’s indigenously built workhorse—from the Sriharikota spaceport in south India at 5:14 p.m. local time on April 4, a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) says.
A trial for the launch will be conducted on March 29 before the commencement of the 52-hr. countdown for the actual launch.
The navigation satellite IRNSS-1B is designed to extend civilian and military applications by providing accurate positioning information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km. (932 mi.) from its boundaries, the ISRO official says.
IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system, which is being developed indigenously at India’s satellite center in the south Indian city of Bengaluru.
The applications for IRNSS includes terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation; disaster management; vehicle tracking and fleet management; integration with mobile phones; precise timing, mapping and geodetic data capture; direction capability for travelers, and visual and navigation aids for drivers.
IRNSS will provide two types of services, including Standard Positioning Service (SPS), which is provided to all the users, and restricted service that is provided to official users. The system is expected to provide a position accuracy of better than 20 meters (65 ft.) in the primary service area.
The satellite system also comprises a space segment and a ground segment. The space segment consists of seven satellites, with three satellites in geostationary orbit and four satellites in inclined geosynchronous orbit; the ground segment is responsible for navigation parameter generation and transmission, satellite controls, ranging and integrity monitoring, and timekeeping.
ISRO launched IRNSS-1A, the first satellite in the IRNSS series, in July of last year aboard PSLV-C22.
The IRNSS-1A has already started functioning from its designated orbital slot after extensive in-orbit testing and evaluation to confirm it was performing as expected.
The IRNSS constellation is expected to be fully operational by 2015.
With the launch of IRNSS, India will be the third entity—after the EU and China—to have their own version of the U.S.-operated GPS.