Paris: India's ambitious Gagan Air Traffic Management and Aircraft Navigation System is headed for final tests later on in the year, following the successful integration of ground-based centres across the country with the Inmarsat geo-stationary satellite. American defence major, Raytheon, performed the integration.
The Rs644 crore project, is being jointly executed by the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Airports Authority of India, and is meant to provide augmented information for satellite navigation to aircraft flying over Indian airspace.
Meanwhile, Raytheon officials said the final technology demonstration test of the Gagan system would be conducted later this year.
"The integration of the systems is ongoing and the final test will be conducted this summer or in the third quarter of this year," Jack Costello, vice president of Raytheon's Network Centric Systems, said at the Paris Air Show.
Costello said that all tests, following the integration of the satellite with the uplink stations, had been completed successfully. Overland communications apart, the Gagan system also envisages providing information to aircraft for navigation over the seas bordering India, where it is difficult to provide conventional navigation signals.
According to officials, once the test is complete, Raytheon will work with ISRO and AAI for the complete implementation of the system.
The Gagan system will have eight reference stations, including centres in Delhi, Guwahati, Jammu and Port Blair, and a mission control centre in Bangalore.
According to Costello, Raytheon was keen on expanding its "very healthy partnership" with ISRO, especially in view of the growth of the satellite launch market in India.
Meanwhile, another Raytheon official, Walt Doran, president of Raytheon Asia, said the company was working on a mini-radio frequency payload that would be put by the US Navy onboard the Chandrayaan-I, India's first unmanned mission to the moon. The sensor package will map the permanently dark lunar polar regions and also look for potential water ice deposits.