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ISRO bets on satellite navigation for aviation services
by Staff Writers
Bangalore, India (IANS) Feb 29, 2012

The space agency is also developing the IRNSS as a regional navigation satellite system to provide users a position accuracy that will be better than 20 meters on a 24/7 all-weather basis.

The Indian space agency Thursday stressed on the use of satellite-based navigation signals to provide real-time and efficient aviation services in the country.

"We have identified satellite navigation as a thrust area for civil aviation over the Indian region as the space-based system provides precise positioning, velocity and timing services," the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement after a day-long users' meet on the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) here.

Noting that navigation had become an integral part of human activity, ISRO satellite centre director T. Alex said the civil aviation sector would soon be provided a full-fledged space-based service through its global positioning system aided geo-augmented navigation (GAGAN) and the upcoming Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

"Experts in satellite based navigation shared their experiences on utilising the navigation signals for precise positioning and civil aviation and other services," the statement said.

ISRO project director A.S. Ganeshan presented an overview of GAGAN and IRNSS navigation projects to the participants, which included experts from academia, industry and the space agency.

The space agency and the state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) are implementing the GAGAN project as the satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) for the Indian airspace and safety of life applications.

The project's signal-in-space has been made available to civilian users since Dec 15, 2011.

The space agency is also developing the IRNSS as a regional navigation satellite system to provide users a position accuracy that will be better than 20 meters on a 24/7 all-weather basis.

"The objective of the meet was to provide a thrust in the development of GNSS-based applications and user receivers utilising GAGAN and IRNSS navigation signals in India," ISRO associate director S.K. Shiva Kumar told about 250 delegates from the government, industry and academia.

The space agency, however, kept the media away from the event for inexplicable reasons in the aftermath of the government blacklisting its former chairman G. Madhavan Nair and three other senior space scientists from holding official posts for their alleged controversial role in the $300-million Antrix-Devas S-band spectrum contract that was scrapped in February 2011.

Source: Indo-Asia News Service

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