India preps for navigation satellite launch

April 10, 2018  - By

Another navigation satellite is scheduled to join India’s NavIC constellation this week. IRNSS-1I is on the launchpad, with launch set for Thursday, April 12, at 04:04 (IST), according to the India Space Research Organization (ISRO).

The 32-hour countdown activity began at 20:04 IST on Tuesday. Follow the launch here.

All three rubidium atomic clocks on IRNSS-1A have failed. A replacement satellite, IRNSS-1H, was launched on Aug. 31, 2017, but was not successfully deployed. This satellite, IRNSS-1I, is also a replacement satellite for IRNSS-1A.

Satellite IRNSS-1I will be the eighth satellite to join the NavIC constellation (formerly IRNSS). The satellite will be launched from First Launch Pad (FLP) of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota, using India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its 43rd flight (PSLV-C41) in XL configuration. The XL configuration is being used for the 20th time.

IRNSS-1I undergoes testing at the Compact Antenna Test Facility. (Photo: ISRO)

IRNSS-1I’s predecessors — IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G — were launched by PSLV-C22, PSLV-C24, PSLV-C26, PSLV-C27, PSLV-C31, PSLV-C32 and PSLV-C33 in July 2013, April 2014, October 2014, March 2015, January 2016, March 2016 and April 2016 respectively. See the GPS World Almanac for details on the constellation.

Like all other IRNSS satellites, IRNSS-1I also has a lift-off mass of 1425 kilograms. The configuration of IRNSS-1I is similar to IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F and 1G.

Like its IRNSS predecessors, IRNSS-1I also carries two types of payloads — navigation and ranging. The navigation payload of IRNSS-1I transmits signals for the determination of position, velocity and time. This payload is operating in L5-band and S-band. Rubidium atomic clocks are part of the navigation payload of the satellite.

The ranging payload of IRNSS-1I consists of a C-band transponder, which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite. It also carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for LASER Ranging.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.