India’s IRNSS-1F satellite on countdown to launch

March 9, 2016  - By
Image: GPS World

The countdown for the launch of of a rocket carrying Indian Regional Navigation Satellite Sytem-IRNSS-1F began at 9:30 a.m. local time at the Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh, reports the New Indian Express.

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) is expected to blast off around 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, following a 54-hour 30-minute countdown.

“Like the countdowns for the flight of many other earlier rockets, the countdown is progressing smoothly,” a senior official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told the newspaper.

IRNSS-1F will be India’s sixth navigation satellite. It has a design life of 12 years and carries two payloads. The navigation payload will be operating in L5-band and S-band; the ranging payload consists of a C-band transponder (automatic receivers and transmitters of radio signals), which facilitates accurate determination of the range of the satellite.

A highly accurate Rubidium atomic clock is part of the navigation payload of the satellite. IRNSS-1F also carries Corner Cube Retro Reflectors for laser ranging.

Till date India has launched five regional navigational satellites (IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C, ID and 1E) as part of a constellation of seven satellites to provide accurate position information service to users across the country and the region, extending up to an area of 1,500 km.

The entire IRNSS constellation of seven satellites is planned to be completed in this year. The seventh satellite, IRNSS-1G, is expected to be launched in the second half of 2016. The full system comprises nine satellites — seven in orbit and two on the ground as standby.

The first satellite IRNSS-1A was launched in July 2013, the second IRNSS-1B in April 2014, the third In October 2014, the fourth in March 2015, and the fifth in January of this year.

According to ISRO, with the operationalisation of five IRNSS satellites, the proof of concept of an independent regional navigation satellite system over India has been demonstrated for the targeted position accuracy of better than 20 meters, 24 hours a day.

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