Jun 2023 | No Comment

Isro to launch navigational satellite for its constellation in May end

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), in the third launch of the year, will fly NVS-01 to augment the sevensatellite navigation constellation NavIC on May 29. Not only will it be the first launch of a navigational satellite under the new moniker NVS, but it will also beat the space agency’s record during the three pandemic years. There were only two Isro launches each in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

The NVS-01 satellite will replace the navigational capabilities of another satellite IRNSS-1G in the constellation. It will retain its communication and messaging capabilities. The navigational capabilities of a couple of satellites were hampered after the atomic clocks on board malfunctioned. The location of objects for satellite-based navigation is determined by very precisely measuring the time it takes for the signals to return from the ground.

After the failure of some of the imported atomic clocks, India decided to develop its own atomic clocks as well. One of the satellites IRNSS-1A was replaced by the space agency in 2018 – the first replacement satellite launched in 2017 was lost after the heat shield containing the satellite did not open when it was supposed to.

Japan plans expansion of homegrown GPS network to 11 satellites

Japan intends to increase the number of satellites in its GPS-style system to 11 from four. Tokyo’s space policy committee has set a goal to expand the Michibiki Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, a network of satellites in geosynchronous orbit above Japan and Australia.

Receiving signals from Michibiki as well as American GPS satellites allows users in the Asia-Oceania region to know their locations with an accuracy of several centimeters.

The first Michibiki satellite was launched in 2010 on a Japanese H-IIA rocket. The system has operated with four satellites since 2018. The current Michibiki system with four satellites acts in a supplementary role to GPS. With seven satellites, the system can work on its own without GPS, but the accuracy would be poor because signals cannot reach users in mountainous areas or near skyscrapers.

Indigenous chip for NavICbased satellite navigation

Elena Geo Systems, a Bengalurubased space technology firm recently unveiled a chip that could form the core of navigation, positioning and timing applications in India. The chip works using Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) satellites. The chip was recently handed over to the Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan in the presence of Dr. Samir V Kamat, Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari.

Carlson debuts new RTK engine

Carlson Software has announced a major advance in GNSS positioning technology with an entirely new RTK engine – Gama. It is named after famed explorer and navigator, Vasco da Gama. Developed by Carlson’s navigation group, Gama is also being debuted with the Carlson RTk5 GNSS solution.It has undergone extensive testing under a wide selection of extreme trial scenarios, including under thick tree canopies, in urban and suburban environments, in close proximity to buildings and walls, and more.

Syntony GNSS partners with Xona Space Systems

Syntony GNSS and Xona Space Systems have partnered to integrate the low-Earthorbit (LEO) position, navigation and timing (PNT) constellation from Xona into GNSS simulators and receiver solutions from Syntony.

Scientific studies to monitor the changes in Himalayan glaciers

Climate change and its impact on glaciers remains a global challenge which requires global efforts and actions. Government of India is committed to protect the glaciers and has made efforts to reduce the impact through several adaptation and mitigation measures. This includes a number of programmes under National Action Plan on Climate Change. Various R&D projects are being supported for studying Himalayan Glaciers under the National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem and National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change.

Several areas in the Himalayan States have also been declared as National Parks or Protected Areas, such as, Gangotri National Park, Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, and Great Himalayan National Park. In addition, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research, Geological Survey of India and Indian Space Research Organization has been carrying out regular scientific studies to monitor the changes in Himalayan glaciers.

The final outcomes at the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are in the form of various decisions agreed to by consensus of all the Parties following extensive negotiations, while taking into consideration the principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities in the light of different national circumstances, as applicable to developing countries.

GIS data for Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana

The Ministry of Rural Development has released Geographic Information System (GIS) data developed for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) scheme in public domain. Under PMGSYIII, more than 7.70 lakh rural facilities such as medical, educational and markets have been geo-tagged. Details of rural roads are available in public domain at The GIS data created under PMGSY National GIS guideline is not just of rural areas, but serves as a holistic national geo-spatial dataset including urban areas, National Highways, State Highways and Railway tracks, etc. GeoSadak has been developed utilizing fully indigenous GIS data layers and satellite data services.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY) was launched as a one-time special intervention to provide rural connectivity, by way of a single allweather road, to the eligible unconnected habitations in the core network for uplifting the socio-economic condition of the rural population. Various impact assessment studies that have been carried out by Independent Agencies have concluded that PMGSY has helped in better access of marketplace for the rural masses and generated employment in various forms. It has also helped in improving socio-economic condition of people living around the area. Thus, it has helped in removing poverty and unemployment. The scheme has impacted agriculture, health, education, urbanization and employment generation in a big way.

Upto 100% FDI in space sector through Government route only

According to Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, presently FDI in space sector is allowed up to 100% in the area of Satellites-Establishment and Operations through Government route only. In a statement laid on the table of the Rajya Sabha he said, Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) being the regulatory and promotional body for space activities was involved in revision of FDI policy which is presently under consideration of the Government. The specific role of INSPACe for channelizing FDI will evolve after approval of revised FDI policy by the Government.

Flood Affected Area Atlas of India

At the behest of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO has prepared the Flood Affected Area Atlas for India using the available historical satellite datasets spanning over 25 years (1998 to 2022). Flood affected area maps are one of the very important non-structural methods of flood damage mitigation. These maps are useful in planning and regulating developmental activities in flood plains, construction of relief, rescue, and health centres. Satellites provide synoptic observations of the natural disasters at regular intervals that help in disaster risk reduction in the country. Over a period of time, NRSC, ISRO has created a repository of large data pertaining to the floods & cyclones in different areas of the Country. These historical flood maps are useful for identification of flood affected areas.

Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) satellite and foreign satellite datasets (optical and microwave) during this period were acquired covering different flood magnitudes in India and used in generating the flood affected area maps after its thorough analysis. Water levels of various gauge stations during the period 1998 to 2022 has been obtained from Central Water Commission and used for the preparation of flood affected area atlas of India. These state level flood maps are validated by the state disaster management organizations of major flood-prone states.

District / State wise flood affected area statistics were presented along with the State Maps and India Map in the Atlas. Digital spatial maps are hosted on National Database for Emergency Management (NDEM) geoportal of ISRO. The Atlas would be useful as a resource of information for policy makers, planners and civil society groups and find its value towards flood risk evaluation, sustainable development and flood mitigation efforts in India. This atlas will be useful in preparing disaster management action plans at state level and in disaster risk reduction in the country.

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