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ISRO's GSAT-8 satellite with GAGAN payload placed in position news
27 June 2011

ISRO's GSAT-8 communications satellite that carries the GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) system has been successfully positioned, according to senior Airports Authority of India officials.

"The initial phase is now over. The satellite is now in position," AAI chairman, VP Agarwal, said at a New Delhi workshop on aviation safety.

"We are now going through the certification stage of the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) and we will have certification of the system by June 2013." he said, according to reports.

India's first GAGAN navigation payload on the GSAT-8 communications satellite was launched successfully from the European space centre in Korou, French Guiana on 21 May.

It was the first successful launch for India's SBAS, which will be used for air traffic navigation over the Indian subcontinent and surrounding region.

The GAGAN system

India will become only the fourth country in the world to adopt this system.

Others using similar technologies are the US, the European Union and Japan.

Once operational, GAGAN would provide augmented information from navigation satellites to aircraft flying over Indian airspace as well as routes over the high seas with high level of accuracy, integrity and continuity during the entire flight operations - from take-off to landing, officials said.

GAGAN's equivalents are the US Wide Area Augmentation System that became operational in 2003. The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), though functional since October 2009 was officially made available for aviation use only in March of this year.

The Japanese have a system known by the acronym MSAS (Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System).

The ground segment for GAGAN, which has been put up by the US company Raytheon, has 15 reference stations scattered across the country. Two mission control centres, along with associated uplink stations, have been set up at Kundalahalli in Bangalore. One more control centre and uplink station is to come up at Delhi.

These centres will provide navigation and air traffic management over the entire Indian airspace and Indian Ocean area -- from Southeast Asia to the African shores.

The estimated cost of making GAGAN operational is estimated at over Rs780 crore.

GAGAN will be compatible with other SBAS providing seamless air navigation service across regional boundaries.

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ISRO's GSAT-8 satellite with GAGAN payload placed in position