Friday, September 28, 2007

India to set up satellite navigation system - The Economic Times

The Russians are restoring their satellite constellation for a global positioning system (GPS), called GLONASS. The Europeans are setting up their own GPS system - Galileo. The Chinese have the Beidou system. And now India is setting up their own regional GPS system called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) (link). The system is going to cost an estimated $400 million (INR 1,600 crores).

"We have already begun work on the system. It will be totally under our control. As part of the project, three satellites would be placed in the geo-synchronous transfer orbit, while the remaining four would be in geo-stationary orbit,"

My thoughts:

When all the systems are up there are going to be 24 Russian satellites, 30 European satellites 35 Chinese satellites, 7 Indian satellites and the original 24 from the US GPS system. Its going to be a crowded sky - just for the purpose of knowing where one is. I know because of their military uses, the chance that all these countries will decide and use a single system will never happen. But it would be cool if they all could inter-operate. That way I could take my Garmin or MIO, roam this planet and always know where I am! No where have I seen any chatter about this sort of an inter-operability..... so pinch me! time to wake up!

With GPS devices becoming ubiquitous, I wonder if there is a case for a commercial company that would provide a GPS signal through-out the world. Instead of a 100 satellites - the world would need only about 24 satellites. Or maybe a constellation of regional system?

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