Moving quickly to fulfil the plan to replace the US-run Global Positioning System (GPS) with an indigenous navigation system provided by IRNSS, the ISRO held a meeting with mobile phone makers and developers at Bengaluru recently. If all goes as per plan, the switch might happen by July 2016.
“During this meet, the ISRO had recommended fitting a small hardware in hand-held devices, mobile phones and including a code in the existing mobile software by which the devices can receive signals (L-Band and S-Band) from the satellite,” ISRO sources told Express.
Sources added that senior scientists from ISRO and its Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad, tried to convince phone makers and device developers to shift to the IRNSS, explaining to them about attempts to improve the quality on a par with the GPS by installing a special embedded software in the receiver that would reduce errors due to atmospheric disturbances.
Earlier this year, the ISRO was planning to see a rule passed making it mandatory for all manufacturers in India to design devices so that these could tap into the IRNSS. This was because implementation of IRNSS in devices was missing.
The scientists were confident that the IRNSS would be accurate to almost 20 metres while used in monitoring road, sea and air navigation using smartphones and other handheld devices.
“The satellite system would be put into complete operation only three to four weeks after the remaining two of the seven-satellite constellation are launched in the coming months,” ISRO’s spokesperson and director of public relations told Express.
The decision to opt for an indigenous satellite navigation system at an estimated cost of `1,600 crores was taken after the US GPS failed to provide information during the Kargil War in 1999.