First Indian navigation satellite will be launched this year, announced President Pratibha Patil, during the joint sitting of Parliament. The Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) will be a constellation of seven satellites having all-weather, round-the-clock coverage over the Indian landmass with an extended coverage of about 1,500 km around it.
“Several major satellite launches are planned for 2012, including India’s first microwave remote sensing satellite (RISAT-1) with all-weather imaging capability,” President added. She said that the next flight of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle using the indigenous cryogenic upper stage was also proposed to be conducted this year.
Besides use in the agriculture sector, the all weather capability of RISAT-1 could also be used to keep an eye on the country’s borders round-the-clock and help in anti-terrorist and anti-infiltration operations.
The IRNSS, which will have a range of applications including personal navigation, will be India’s answer to the US-operated GPS, Russia’s Glonass, European Space Agency’s under-development Galileo, and China’s emerging constellation, Compass.
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