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India's Answer to GPS Runs Into Serious Technical Failures
by Staff Writers
New Delhi (Sputnik) Jun 28, 2017

illustration only

India's native navigation system has developed serious problems with four atomic clocks on the six satellites facing unexplained errors. With these, a total seven out of 21 clocks onboard have shown some difficulties.

Proper functioning of these clocks is crucial to provide accurate navigation to the Indian armed forces. Last year, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) accepted the problems with three atomic clocks onboard one of the satellites of Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).

"The clocks are ticking well. It's not possible to share the technical details of mission management for important reasons. ISRO is adopting various strategies so that best results are obtained from its satellite systems," A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, ISRO told IANS earlier this month. But sources said that more atomic clocks have faced difficulties in providing data which is likely to be compensated with the launch of a replacement satellite in near future.

IRNSS was launched as a more accurate navigation services compared to the US' GPS system over the Bay of Bengal, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean, Middle East and African regions. India created its own navigation system in April 2016 with the successful launch of the last of its seven satellites of IRNSS.

The failure of three atomic clocks was not causing much worry to Indian scientists as they cited similar instance earlier this month in Europe, where three rubidium atomic clocks and six hydrogen maser clocks onboard Galileo failed.

Rubidium atomic clocks were manufactured by the Swiss company Spectracom. However, India's CSIR-NPL has developed and transferred the critical technology of Rubidium atomic clock for space applications to ISRO. A model has been developed at CSIR-NPL and is undergoing further developments at Satellite Applications Center before being integrated into the payload of the IRNSS.

Source: Sputnik News

Lockheed Martin nears completion of GPS III satellite
Washington (UPI) Jun 26, 2017
Lockheed Martin is nearly finished with its third GPS III satellite, part of a planned order of 10 to form a new GPS network for the U.S. military. The GPS III network is meant to provide greater accuracy for air, ground, and sea-based GPS systems. It features anti-jamming systems that are supposed to be up to 8 times more effective than other satellites. The first GPS III satellite SV0 ... read more

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