SRIHARIKOTA: Talking the country's dream of having an own indigenous navigation system a step closer, the sixth of the seven-satellite constellation was launched successfully by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota on Thursday evening.
The vessel lifted off from the second launch pad of SDSC, Sriharikota, at 04:01 pm. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1F) was launched by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) weighing 320 tonnes.
This was the 34th successful satellite launch by the, which has come to become one of the world's most reliable launch vehicle. As in the case of previous five successful launches of IRNSS satellites with similar configurations, 'XL' version of the the launch vehicle (PSLV-C32) was used on Thursday. This was the twelfth time the variant was used by ISRO.
Exactly 20 minutes and 20 seconds after the launch, the satellite was placed in an inclined geosynchronous orbit carrying two types of payloads - navigation and ranging payloads. According to ISRO scientists, while the former would transmit navigation service signals to users with a help of a highly accurate Rubidium atomic clock, the latter was designed to facilitate accurate determination of the satellite range.
After injection into the orbit the two solar panels of IRNSS-1F were automatically deployed in quick succession. Sun and star sensors and gyroscopes provided the orientation reference of the satellite, according to ISRO.
Following this, the satellite control was taken over by the Master Control Facility (MCF) at Hassan Once the final satellite of the IRNSS constellation was launched, the system would be able to provide accurate position information service to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1500 km from its boundary.
While the Standard Positioning System (SPS) will be provided to all the users, Restricted Service (RS), an encrypted service, would be provided to only authorised users.
The first five satellites of the IRNSS constellation, have already started functioning from their designated orbital slots after expensive on-orbit test and evaluation to confirm their satisfactory performance, said officials.