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India seeks global adoption of its NavIC system

Logo: Indian Space Research OrganisationA new draft policy in India seeks to foster global use of its Indian NavIC satellite navigation system. The draft Indian Satellite Navigation Policy 2021 (SATNAV Policy 2021) is part of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)/Department of Space’s (DoS) reforms.

“ISRO/DOS shall work towards expanding the coverage from regional to global to ensure availability of NavIC standalone signal in any part of the world without relying on other GNSS and aid in wide utilization of Indian navigation system across the globe,” states the policy document.

DoS will push NavIC for global use to meet demand for positioning and timing in commercial, strategic and societal applications. It aims to ensure the continuous availability of free-to-air navigation signals for civilian uses, while providing secured navigation signals for strategic uses.

The draft document plans for continuity of NavIC and GAGAN services, while also ensuring Indian satellite navigation and augmentation signals are compatible and interoperable with other GNSS/SBAS signals. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regulated frequency allocation to prevent interference among signals from different systems. This interoperability allows users to seamlessly switch from one constellation system to another and results in improved navigation signal, especially in a situation where an area is obscured from one satellite system.

DoS will continue to work with ITU or frequency allocation. It will also take part in the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

In addition, ISRO will provide technical support for academic institutions in GNSS research and applications.

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