NavIC system, in addition to its primary function of providing PNT services, is also capable of broadcasting short messages. This messaging service is being used for broadcasting safety-of-life alerts in areas with poor or no communication, particularly in the oceans.
Indian Space Research Organisation has entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with OPPO India to exchange technical information of NavIC messaging services. This will enable integrating NavIC messaging service with the mobile handset platform keeping in mind the need of Indian users.
Secretary, DOS / Chairman, ISRO appreciated the efforts of OPPO India in scaling NavIC application through their innovative R&D initiatives. He also urged them to include NavIC in all their upcoming mobile platforms that use location based solutions. www.isro.gov.in
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released the list of 50 airports that will have buffer zones when wireless companies turn on new 5G C-band service on January 19. The agency sought input from the aviation community where the proposed buffer zones would help reduce the risk of disruption. Traffic volume, the number of low-visibility days and geographic location factored into the selection.
Many airports are not currently affected by the new 5G deployment, even though they are not on this list. These include airports not in the 46 markets where the new service will be deployed and airports that do not currently have the ability to allow low-visibility landings.
The wireless companies agreed to turn off transmitters and make other adjustments near these airports for six months to minimize potential 5G interference with sensitive aircraft instruments used in low-visibility landings.
The FAA continues to work with the aerospace manufacturers and wireless companies to make sure 5G is safely deployed and to limit the risk of flight disruptions at all airports. www.faa.gov
China has conducted a pioneering high-speed communication experiment using lasers, rather than the usual radio signals, between satellites in its BeiDou navigation system and ground stations on Earth.
The method could allow a satellite to beam data to the ground at several gigabytes per second, rather than kilobytes at present, according to researchers involved. BeiDou’s fastest communication performance in the experiment remains classified.
China and the United States are in an intense race to establish laser communication networks in space. Nasa recently announced that, after a two-year delay, it would soon month launch an experimental satellite to conduct similar experiments, testing data transmission via laser beam at 2.8GB per second. www.thestar.com
The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) in India has authorized an outlay of `3.25 crore to the Union Territory of Puducherry for establishing a GPS Monitoring Center in accordance with its guidelines.
The fund will be used for setting up the infrastructure, development, customization, deployment, and management of State-wise Vehicle Tracking Platform for safety and enforcement as per the specification under the ‘Nirbhaya framework’ (a set of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country). As many as 14,000 public transport vehicles will be tracked once the GPS Monitoring Center is put in place by the Transport Department.
While all new vehicles registered with the regional transport offices in the territory from January 1, 2019 are mandated to be fitted with GNSS, the vehicle location tracking device and emergency button shall be retrofitted by vendors approved by MORTH for the older vehicles which were registered before January 1, 2019. www.thehindu.com
Two new Galileo satellites were successfully launched from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 4 December 2021, bringing the number of Galileo satellites launched to a total of 28 satellites, thereby enabling the provision of more robust services and precise signals across a range of industries.
The Soyuz launcher VS-26, successfully lifted off from Kourou, French Guyana, for a nearly four-hour voyage till the separation of the Galileo satellites 27-28 from the rocket. The Galileo Launch 11 is the first of a series of 6 launches (with two satellites per launch), which will allow Galileo to deliver greater accuracy to existing users and open up new market opportunities.
The Galileo satellites are currently managed by the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) and its industrial team, in charge of the satellite operations from the separation of the Launch vehicle onwards, as part of the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP). The LEOP is one of the crucial phases of a space mission during which the spacecraft is launched and put into the correct orbit and the first satellite elements are gradually switched on and tested. euspa.europa.eu
Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications is working on a UK Space Agencyfunded test project with the European Space Agency, alongside British partners Goonhilly Earth Station Limited and GMVNSL Limited, to deliver the first UK-generated satellite navigation (satnav) signal. The project provides a potential platform for the UK to enhance its capabilities in the Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) domain post-Brexit.
Repurposing a transponder from the Inmarsat-3 F5 (I-3 F5) satellite, the test project – UK Space Based Augmentation System or UKSBAS – will provide an overlay signal to augment the United States Global Positioning System (US GPS) satellite navigation system. This can refine the precision of the signal from a few metres to a few centimetres in accuracy.
UKSBAS will provide a basis to assess its future development into an operational capability to support safetycritical applications such as aircraft approaching and landing at airports or navigating ships through narrow channels, especially at night and in poor weather conditions. Goonhilly will provide the uplink for the system from Cornwall and software from GMVNSL, based in Nottingham, will generate the ground-based navigation signal.
This is a similar system to that already in use in Australia and New Zealand, supported by Inmarsat. UKSBAS will be the first UK-generated national satnav signal. This project could be crucial for UK users who need accurate, high-integrity navigation capabilities to enable their operations, initially covering aviation and maritime operations but with potential extension into rail and other land vehicle applications. For example, UKSBAS will be International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards-compliant.
The UK no longer has access to the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Safety of Life services since leaving the European Union (EU) and is not involved in the EU’s Galileo programme for similar reasons. Therefore, this new national capability supported by current and future Inmarsat satellites could offer a new option for high-integrity, precision navigation across the country, in its airspace and within surrounding waters.
I-3F5 is in geosynchronous orbit at 54° west, ensuring that its signal covers the UK as part of its Atlantic Ocean region service overlay. This makes it an ideal candidate to participate in this test. The satellite was manufactured by Inmarsat’s Athena partner Lockheed Martin and launched in 1998.
“This project demonstrates British innovation at its best,” said Nick Shave, Vice President of Strategic Programmes for Inmarsat Global Government. “Working with Goonhilly Earth Station and GMVNSL, supported by UK funding via the ESA Navigation Innovation and Support Programme (NAVISP), enables us to extend the long life of Inmarsat’s I-3 F5 satellite with additional new services designed two decades after launch.
We look forward to exploring the potential for this project and the benefits it could deliver to the UK with more precise, high-integrity, resilient navigation services, whilst also exploring future capabilities on new satellites through Inmarsat’s fully funded technology roadmap. This work also has the potential to be exported to other nations around the world, benefitting the UK economically as well as technologically.” www.ukspace.org
In furtherance of the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and positioning India as the global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing, the Cabinet approved the comprehensive program for the development of sustainable semiconductor and display ecosystem in the country with an outlay of Rs.76,000 crore (>10 billion USD). The programme will usher in a new era in electronics manufacturing by providing a globally competitive incentive package to companies in semiconductors and display manufacturing as well as design. This shall pave the way for India’s technological leadership in these areas of strategic importance and economic self-reliance.
Semiconductors and displays are the foundation of modern electronics driving the next phase of digital transformation under Industry 4.0. Semiconductors and display manufacturing is very complex and technologyintensive sector involving huge capital investments, high risk, long gestation and payback periods, and rapid changes in technology, which require significant and sustained investments. The programme will give an impetus to semiconductors and display manufacturing by facilitating capital support and technological collaborations.
The programme aims to provide attractive incentive support to companies / consortia that are engaged in Silicon Semiconductor Fabs, Display Fabs, Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors (including MEMS) Fabs, Semiconductor Packaging (ATMP / OSAT) and Semiconductor Design.
Following broad incentives have been approved for the development Incentives for setting up of Semiconductors Fabs and Display Fabs in India of semiconductors and display manufacturing ecosystem in India:
Semiconductor Fabs and Display Fabs: The Schemes for Setting up of Semiconductor Fabs and Display Fabs in India shall extend fiscal support of up to 50% of project cost on paripassu basis to applicants who are found eligible and have the technology as well as capacity to execute such highly capital and resource intensive projects. Government of India will work closely with the State Governments to establish High-Tech Clusters with requisite infrastructure in terms of land, semiconductor grade water, high quality power, logistics and research ecosystem to approve applications for setting up at least two greenfield Semiconductor Fabs and two Display Fabs in the country.
Semi-conductor Laboratory (SCL): Union Cabinet has also approved that Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will take requisite steps for modernization and commercialization of Semi-conductor Laboratory (SCL), Mohali. MeitY will explore the possibility for the Joint Venture of SCL with a commercial fab partner to modernize the brownfield fab facility. Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors (including MEMS) Fabs and Semiconductor ATMP / OSAT Units: The Scheme for Setting up of Compound Semiconductors / Silicon Photonics / Sensors (including MEMS) Fabs and Semiconductor ATMP / OSAT facilities in India shall extend fiscal support of 30% of capital expenditure to approved units. At least 15 such units of Compound Semiconductors and Semiconductor Packaging are expected to be established with Government support under this scheme.
Semiconductor Design Companies: The Design Linked Incentive (DLI) Scheme shall extend product design linked incentive of up to 50% of eligible expenditure and product deployment linked incentive of 6% – 4% on net sales for five years. Support will be provided to 100 domestic companies of semiconductor design for Integrated Circuits (ICs), Chipsets, System on Chips (SoCs), Systems & IP Cores and semiconductor linked design and facilitating the growth of not less than 20 such companies which can achieve turnover of more than Rs.1500 crore in the coming five years.
India Semiconductor Mission: In order to drive the long-term strategies for developing a sustainable semiconductors and display ecosystem, a specialized and independent “India Semiconductor Mission (ISM)” will be set up. The India Semiconductor Mission will be led by global experts in semiconductor and display industry. It will act as the nodal agency for efficient and smooth implementation of the schemes for setting up of Semiconductor and Display Fabs. www.meity.gov.in