The ‘desi’ GPS – an indigenous regional positioning system named Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) – is closer to becoming a reality after Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) signs a MoU with National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which is expected to happen today, reported a national daily. The MoU will serve as a nod to help the indigenous GPS synchronise with Indian Standard Time (IST) – independent from the US clock system.
“We can’t depend for ever on the US-based National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST). After signing the MoU, the space clocks will be synchronised to that of the Primary National Atomic Clocks at National Physical Laboratory and therefore will have independence,” Dinesh Aswal, director of NPL told the daily.
The move is being taken for an accurate measurement of time. “Though millisecond accuracy is sufficient for day-to-day activities, the ISRO needs accuracy up to nanoseconds level of navigation, surveillance and other national missions,” Aswal added.
According to the report, the NPL maintains accuracy of ±20 nanoseconds which is essential for satellite navigation system.
Minister of state of space and atomic energy, Jitendra Singh, had earlier wrote to the parliament that a range of users receivers are being developed indigenously involving the Indian industry and discussions amongst government department, user-receiver makers, system integrators and service providers for the usage of NavIC system. However, NavIC may take of a couple of years to become fully operational in the market.