IRNSS 1D successfully launched into space
IRNSS is the acronym for the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. To put it quaintly, it is India's own version of the USA's Global Positioning System, or Europe's GLONASS. IRNSS 1D, as the name suggests, is the fourth of the 7 satellites intended to be part of the complete satellite cluster.
The first three of them, already operational in orbit, are geostationary, and the remaining four are geosynchronous. IRNSS 1D is the first of the latter.
IRNSS would provide positioning and navigation services to Indian users, and thus, all its applications. Standard Positioning Service for all,
and Restricted Service,
an encrypted service available to "authorized users" (viz. military) only.
Besides, it is also expected to maintain precise Indian Standard Time. PSLV C27 lifted off at 17:19 IST on March 28, 2015, from the Second Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, and successfully placed IRNSS 1D in orbit.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is ISRO's workhorse launch vehicle, and has one of the best performance records in the aerospace industry. The PSLV-XL configuration, an augmented version of the PSLV modified to carry greater loads, was used for this launch.
Once this 1425 kg satellite was successfully injected into orbit as expected, its solar panels automatically deployed. The Master Control Facility in Hassan subsequently took control of the satellite. As of now, 3 of the 4 scheduled orbit correction manoeuvres have been successfully completed.
Once all are complete, the satellite would be operational for service.
As for the ground segment, a number of ground stations responsible for various functions have been established in various locations across the country. Since a GPS Network requires at least 4 satellites to be operational, with the successful placement of this satellite in orbit, IRNSS would be thrown open for beta testing.
In fact, registration can already be done here: http://irnss.isro.gov.in
Complete information and press releases from ISRO on their official website:http://www.isro.gov.in/irnss-programme/pslv-c27-irnss-1d-mission
If you're still confused about the difference between a geosynchronous and geostationary orbit, this guide is extremely helpful:http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/20140116-how-to-get-a-satellite-to-gto.htmlImage Credit: Indian Space Research Organisation