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ISRO SATNAV Policy 2021 explained – Aims to make India self-reliant in Space Technology

ISRO SATNAV Policy 2021 explained – Aims to make India self-reliant in Space Technology


  • GS 3 || Science & Technology || Space || Navigation Systems

Why in news?

SATNAV Policy – 2021 has been formulated towards effective development, operation and maintenance of satellite based navigation system and is stated here under.

SATNAV Policy – 2021

The Indian Satellite Navigation Policy-2021 (SATNAV Policy – 2021) has been formulated with an aim to address and meet the growing demands of space based navigation and timing applications and advancements in the relevant technologies for self-sustenance in areas of commercial, strategic and societal applications to maximise the socio-economic benefits.

Objective of this policy:

  • Free-to-air navigation: Ensure guaranteed and continuous availability of free-to-air navigation signals for civilian uses and secured navigation signals for strategic uses in the defined coverage area.
  • Satellite Based Augmentation System: Ensure guaranteed and continuous availability of Satellite Based AugmentationSystem (SBAS) for aviation safety in the defined coverage area.
  • Signal-In-Space (SIS): Ensure judicious dissemination of Signal-In-Space (SIS) interface definition and system performance reports for the intended use.
  • Navigation signals and expansion: Work towards progressive evolution of navigation signals and expansion of coverage for enhanced use.
  • Focus on technology development for enhancing the navigation satellite systems.
  • Compatibility and interoperability: Work towards compatibility and interoperability of Indian satellite navigation and augmentation signals with other GNSS/SBAS signals.
  • Promote Indian Industry and academia to carry out research and development activities in the field of satellite navigation based applications with emphasis on societal benefits.
  • Global usage of Indian satellite: Work towards facilitating global usage of Indian satellite navigation and augmentation systems.

Satellite based Navigation System:

  • Nominal operation and maintenance: ISRO/DOS ensure nominal operation and maintenance of existing NavIC space segment and also ensure adequate measure in place to realise sufficient spare satellites to meet the nominal end-of-life replacement and/or any exigency arising due to unforeseen failure in the in-orbit satellites.
  • Flexibility of incorporating new navigation: ISRO/DOS ensure flexibility of incorporating new navigation signals/services in the space segment in addition to the broadcast of legacy navigation signals and to cater to national needs as deemed necessary.
  • Augmentation: ISRO /DOS diligently plan towards upgradation /replacement/ augmentation of ground segment without affecting the services being rendered.
  • Protection for the frequency: ISRO/DOS ensure protection for the frequency allocated towards operation of space and ground segment, including the broadcasted navigation signals.
  • Protect the infrastructure: ISRO/DOS restrict access to space and ground infrastructure only to authorized personnel. A risk mitigation plan shall be devised and implemented to protect the infrastructure from any security threats.
  • Mitigate the possible threats: ISRO/DOS devise a mechanism to assist strategic users in development of specific techniques to ensure protection against and to mitigate the possible threats on usage of secured navigation signals of NavIC.

Technology Development in the space based navigation system of India:

  • Indigenously developed: While many of the space and ground based systems used for navigation and augmentation system are indigenously developed, ISRO /DOS shall put best efforts towards reduction of dependence on foreign imports.
  • Ground systems are periodically augmented: ISRO /DOS share ensure that the ground systems are periodically augmented with state-of-the-art systems.
  • Harnessing the emerging technological advancements: ISRO /DOS shall work towards harnessing the emerging technological advancements such as, highly stable clocks, artificial intelligence, machine learning,inter-satellite links, on-orbit re-programming of navigation signals, quantum communication, etc. in space segment.

Role of Indian Industry and Academia in Satellite Navigation Services and Applications:

  • Promote the participation of NGPE: ISRO/DOS put in place mechanisms to promote the participation of NGPEs, state government bodies, non-government bodies and academia towards creating ecosystem built using Indian satellite navigation system which are socially and economically beneficial.
  • Societal benefits: ISRO /DOS, in consultation with the Central /State ministries, shall identify applications for societal benefits using Indian satellite navigation system, shall execute proof of concept demonstration/pilot projects and shall eventually enable Indian industry for productionisation.
  • Technical support for academic institutions: ISRO /DOSprovide technical support for academic institutions in the field of GNSS research and applications.
  • Encourage utilisation of NavIC App: ISRO/DOS constantly endeavour to encourage all the concerned Central/StateMinistries towards utilisation of NavIC applications with a view to promote the Indian industry engaged in developing indigenous NavIC based solutions.
  • Specialization courses on satellite navigation:ISRO/DOS to work with concerned ministries/departments to introduce specialisation courses on satellite navigation in academic institutions so as to develop indigenous expertise in the field of satellite navigation.
  • International collaboration: ISRO/DOS to explore possibilities of international collaboration to evolve satellite navigation based applications for societal benefits and aide in promoting Indian Industry /academia to support these endeavours.

Facilitating Global Usage of NavIC& GAGAN:

  • ISRO/DOS to continue to work with Indian Standard Development Organisations(SDO) such as, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and relevant international SDOssuch as ISO, ICAO, IMO, IEC, 3GPP, RTCM, RTCA, NMEA, etc. to develop Indian and Global standards to enable Indian satellite navigation and augmentation based applications.
  • ISRO /DOS to ensure representation of Indian satellite navigation and augmentation system in the relevant National and International StandardDevelopment Organisation/ committees to safeguard the interests of Indian navigation and augmentation systems.
  • ISRO /DOS jointly work with concerned stakeholders from India towards there cognition of Indian satellite navigation and certification of augmentation system from International organisations like IMO, ICAO etc. where ever necessary.

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS):

Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) is a general term describing a space-based navigation system that provides positioning, navigation, and precise-time (PNT) services on a global or regional basis. Currently, there are four GNSS:

  • GPS: The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based radio navigation system owned by the USA and operated by the United States Force.
  • GLONASS: A Russian space-based satellite navigation system is a GNSS that provides an alternative to GPS and is the second navigational system with global coverage, freely available to all.
  • Galileo: A global GNSS was created in 2016 by European Space Agency.
  • BeiDou: The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is owned and operated by the People’s Republic of China. It consists of two separate satellite constellations.
  • In addition to this, there are two regional navigation satellite systems
    • NavIC: With the operational name NavIC, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System is an independent regional navigation satellite system developed by India. It provides accurate, precise, and real-time positioning and services. The satellite covers India and a region extending 1,500 km around.
    • QZSS: The Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, also known as Michibiki, is a regional GNSS owned by Japan and operated by QZS System Service. It is a four-satellite regional time transfer system, enhancing the United States-operated Global Positioning System in the Asia-Oceania regions, with a focus on Japan.

Indian Satellite Navigation Policy – 2021

  • The policy was created with the goal of meeting the rising need for space-based navigation and timing applications while also ensuring self-sufficiency in commercial, strategic, and social applications to maximize socio-economic advantages.
  • Navigation signals are available free-to-air for a number of applications. Tracking, telematics, location-based services, automotive, survey, mapping & GIS, and timing are some of the applications available.
  • According to the proposal, such secure services that are only available to the Indian strategic community are needed.
  • The objective of the draft
    • In the designated coverage area, it is to provide the uninterrupted availability of free-to-air navigation signals for civilian applications and secured navigation signals for strategic uses. The draft guarantees guaranteed and ongoing availability of the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for aircraft safety in the designated coverage region.
    • The draft also seeks to concentrate on technological development in order to improve navigation satellite systems, as well as strive to ensure that Indian satellite navigation and augmentation signals are compatible with other GNSS/SBAS signals.
  • As part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat project, the draft assures the continuation of NavIC and GAGAN services, as well as system upgrades and the capacity to function in conjunction with other GNSS/SBAS. As a result, the Department of Space believes it is critical to develop a comprehensive national policy to improve national infrastructure.

Mains oriented question:

Write about the achievements of ISRO as a pioneer in space technology? (200 words)