India came two steps closer to placing its own Global Positioning System (GPS) with the successful launch today of the fifth of the seven navigational satellites planned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).
Isro's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, PSLV-C31, successfully launched the 1,425 kg IRNSS-1E, the fifth satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) today morning from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, at Sriharikota.
Isro will launch the remaining two satellites of this constellation, namely, IRNSS-1F and IG, in the coming months, thereby completing the entire IRNSS constellation.
Isro will use its tested workhorse PSLV for the remaining two missions as well.
This is the thirty-second consecutively successful mission of PSLV and the eleventh in its 'XL' configuration, Isro stated in a release.
After the PSLV-C31 lift-off at 0931 hrs (9:31 am) IST from the second launch pad with the ignition of the first stage, it perfectly completed strap-on ignitions and separations as planned.
After a flight of about 18 minutes 43 seconds, IRNSS-1E Satellite was injected to an elliptical orbit of 282.4 km X 20,655.3 km inclined at an angle of 19.21 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and successfully separated from the PSLV fourth stage.
After injection, the solar panels of IRNSS-1E were deployed automatically. ISRO's Master Control Facility (at Hassan, Karnataka) took over control of the satellite. In the coming days, Isro will conduct four orbit manoeuvres from Master Control Facility to position the satellite in the Geosynchronous Orbit at 111.75 deg East longitude with 28.1 deg inclination.
IRNSS-1E is the fifth of the seven satellites constituting the space segment of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. IRNSS-1A, 1B, 1C and ID, the first four satellites of the constellation, were successfully launched by PSLV on 2 July 2013, 4 April 2014, 16 October 2014 and 28 March 2015, respectively. All the four satellites are functioning satisfactorily from their designated orbital positions.
IRNSS is an independent regional navigation satellite system designed to provide position information in the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. IRNSS would provide two types of services, namely, Standard Positioning Services (SPS) - provided to all users - and Restricted Services (RS), provided to authorised users.
A number of ground stations responsible for the generation and transmission of navigation parameters, satellite ranging and monitoring, etc, have been established in eighteen locations across the country.
The navigation system, which will cost about Rs1,400 crore, will help provide locational specificity. The satellites continuously beam down data that can be read by hand-held instruments or smart phones.
ISRO says the system will have an error margin of no more than 20 metres.