Tuesday, June 18, 2024

NavIC: India’s Satellite Navigation Driving a New Era in Logistics and Mobility

By Staff Correspondent 

Integrating advanced space technology with logistics and transportation systems is igniting a paradigm shift, promising unprecedented levels of efficiency, safety, and sustainability across the sector. This transformative evolution, bolstered by satellite-based monitoring, real-time tracking, and cutting-edge communication technologies, is reshaping the domains of railways, shipping, and general transport.

Kaushik RV, the Deputy Director of IN-SPAce, highlighted the increasingly sophisticated nature of fleet management in India, emphasising the pivotal role of space-based and terrestrial communications. “Space-based communication ensures extensive coverage, even in the most remote and rural regions, essential for comprehensive fleet management and vehicle tracking,” he explained.

Terrestrial communication complements this, providing crucial real-time data on vehicle location, speed, and fuel consumption, which can be leveraged to optimise routing, reduce costs, and enhance overall fleet efficiency.

Enter NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). Developed and managed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), NavIC stands as a robust, autonomous regional satellite navigation system, offering precise real-time positioning and timing services across India and its surrounding regions.

Comprising eight satellites, with three in geostationary orbit and four in inclined geosynchronous orbit, NavIC provides two levels of service: a standard positioning service (SPS) for civilian use and a restricted service (RS) for authorised users, including the military. It boasts superior accuracy and reliability within the Indian region compared to other global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), such as GPS and GLONASS, and operates independently of foreign entities.

Rohan Verma, CEO of MapmyIndia, underscored NavIC’s practical applications, sharing insights on how the system was crucial in aiding the Delhi State Police with route planning for delegates, utilising maps, tracking elements, IoT, and geospatial imagery.

While still under development, NavIC has found applications in public vehicle tracking, emergency warnings for fishermen, disaster monitoring, precision agriculture, and vehicle navigation. The Indian government is also contemplating the mandatory inclusion of NavIC in smartphones sold within the country, aiming to democratise access to the technology and spur its widespread adoption.

Lt. Col. VS Velan, Founder & CTO of Elena Geo Systems, highlighted the technological advancements of NavIC, noting its use of the latest and current technology in contrast to the older L1 band used by GPS. “NavIC represents a significant leap forward in India’s space program and has the potential to redefine navigation and positioning in the Indian region,” he stated.

Sunil Indurti, Director of Azista-BST Aerospace, pointed to the emerging opportunities for Space Bound System Manufacturers, sharing insights on their unique production facility for small satellites. “We are pioneering satellite production in India and one of the first to establish a production line for satellites globally,” he remarked.

As space technology continues to evolve, the landscape of logistics and mobility stands on the brink of a new era, with Space Enabled Logistics set to usher in innovative and transformative applications that will shape the industry for years.

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