ISRO launches next-gen NVS-1 NavIC satellite in picture-perfect lift-off

The Indian Space Research Organisation conducted the fifth launch of 2023 as it lifted off a 2232-kilogram satellite, part of its NavIC series, into space. The NVS-1 launched onboard GSLV F12 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

The NVS-1 is the first satellite of the next-generation NavIC satellite aimed to augment the navigational capabilities of the country. The system was developed looking at the growing requirements of the Civil Aviation sector in the country for better positioning, navigation, and timing.

The NavIC satellites are used in terrestrial, aerial, and marine transportation, location-based services, personal mobility, resource monitoring, surveying and geodesy, scientific research, time dissemination and synchronization, and safety-of-life alert dissemination.

The payload is carrying an indigenously developed Rubidium atomic clock developed by the Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad. “It is an important technology that only a handful of countries possess,” Isro added.

The network covers an area including India and a region up to 1500 km beyond the Indian boundary. The signals are designed to provide user position accuracy better than 20 meters and timing accuracy better than 50 nanoseconds.

The NavIC system operates in the L5 band, which is a protected frequency specifically assigned to the Indian system. The NVS-1 being launched on May 29 incorporates L1 band signals additionally to widen the services.

The GSLV is a three-stage rocket that has emerged as one of India’s most successful launchers to deploy both domestic and customer satellites.

The spacecraft was deployed nearly 18 minutes after launch and Isro declared the mission accomplished. “Congratulations on the excellent GSLVF12 mission outcome. The satellite has been placed in a precise orbit. This mission is after the debacle of the GSLV F10 mission where we had an issue with the cryogenic state. I am happy that the updates and changes we have made to make the stage more reliable have been a success,” Isro chairman S Somnath said after the mission.

This is the second launch from the Indian space agency within a month and the fifth launch of the year, after the launch of the PSLV in April with two Singaporean satellites, and 7 Indian experiments. The PSLV-C55 mission was launched with two satellites, with the primary one being the TeLEOS-2, a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload.

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