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GAGAN is expected to replace the GPS receivers and provide data integrity

Feb 2012 | No Comment

A S Ganeshan

Project Director, Navigation Systems,
ISRO Satellite Centre

What is the origin of the name ‘GAGAN’?

As you are aware GPS meets most of the navigation requirements of users. However, to improve the performance and integrity of the GPS system and to meet civil aviation requirements, the basic GPS system is to be augmented by GEO satellite with corrections and confi dences. Hence, the name GAGAN which is an acronym for GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation System was chosen. Gagan is a Hindi word of Sanskrit origin for the sky and aptly suits the project.

We are expected to have a certified GAGAN by 2013. How close are we to this?

With the completion of installation, integration and testing of all ground elements, the major requirements of facility certifi cation has been completed. The integration of GEO satellites with the ground elements and other aspects related to certifi cations have been taken up. The system is expected to be certifi ed by the 3rd quarter of 2013. The GAGAN will be certifi ed by DGCA to provide NPA (Non Precision Approach) services of RNP-0.1over Indian FIR (Flight Information Region) and PA (Precision Approach) service of APV- 1.0/APV-1.5 over Indian landmass.

What are the user segments going to be benefitted by GAGAN?

Even though GAGAN is being developed primarily for civil aviation applications over Indian region, it is expected to provide enhanced service level to the user segments like, Agriculture, Emergency response, Business solutions, Geographical data collection, Natural resources, Land management, Scientifi c research, Geodynamics ,Urban Mapping, Unmanned vehicles, Vehicle tracking, Air navigation, Car navigation, Maritime applications, Search And Rescue Operations, GIS, Timing applications, Canal Transit Management, etc In short, it is expected to replace the GPS receivers and provide data integrity. Also, GAGAN will aid the DGPS users with minimum change, risk and cost.

What is the reach of GAGAN going to be and how other countries will be able to utilize its services?

The GAGAN system intends to deploy and certify an operational Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for the Indian Flight Information Region (FIR), with expansion capability to neighboring FIRs. When commissioned for service, GAGAN will provide a civil aeronautical navigation signal consistent with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) as established by the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Panel. The neighboring countries can utilize GAGAN system by having reference stations within their country. As the GAGAN GEO foot print extends from Middle East Asia to Australia, the augmentation can be provided over this region using GAGAN system. GAGAN will bridge the gap between Europe (served by EGNOS) and Japan (served by MSAS).

What is the role of private sector in the development of GAGAN?

Navigation projects have created awareness among the Public Sector Undertaking and Indian industries and they have been contributing to GAGAN projects. To name a few, ECIL (Electronics Corporation of India Limited) was responsible for designing and development of 11 meter antennae installed at INLUS (Indian Land Uplink Station). Accord Software is developing GAGAN and IRNSS receivers. Software development of INLUS RFU (Radio Frequency Unit) systems will require the participation of software companies capable of developing DO-178B compliant software. Many other industries are involved in various subsystems of Navigation projects. Even though the Indian private sector participation is limited in the development of GAGAN, there is tremendous scope for the industry to develop user segment equipments for the GAGAN system. The industries need to come up innovative solution to meet diverse user positioning and timing requirements. Also, hand in hand there is a need to develop applications suiting Indian conditions and requirements using GAGAN signals especially in the areas of survey, intelligent transportation systems, location based systems, disaster management, maritime etc.

What are your plans to create awareness among prospective users of GAGAN?

GNSS user meet is planned to be jointly organized by ISRO and AAI on February 23rd 2012 at ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore. This will be a platform where all the parties involved in Navigation will interact and prospective users will greatly benefit. The plan is to conduct such meets at regular intervals to ensure that the benefit of GAGAN utilization is maximized.

How interoperable is GAGAN going to be with other SBAS systems?

The functional performance of GAGAN will meet the accuracy, integrity, continuity and availability requirements specified for aviation by ICAO. The system will be inter-operable with other international SBAS systems like US-WAAS, European EGNOS, and Japanese MSAS etc and provide seamless air navigation across regional boundaries utilizing same signal frequency.

Interference and jamming with satellite signals are becoming major threats. How serious such threats are in the context of GAGAN?

The threat to GAGAN signals is similar in nature to any other GNSS system.

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