Exploring the Promise of NAVIC

The last week April saw India launching its seventh navigation satellite IRNSS-1G completing its regional navigation satellite system Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS). On this occasion of India being one among world’s five countries which have its own GPS system and navigation system, PM Modi praising the achievement christened the service as ‘NAVIC’ for ‘Navigation with Indian Constellation’.

Unlike GPS, GLONASS or BeiDou, INRSS is a regional navigation system with a footprint that extends about 1500 km from India’s landmass. IRNSS is an interesting constellation design of seven satellites with three geostationary satellites (GEOs) (with longitude crossings at 32.5° E, 83° E, and 131.5° E) and four geosynchronous satellites (GSOs) with an inclination of 29 degrees (two each at 55° E and 111.75° E longitude crossings).… Click here to read the complete article

Space as a Tool in Indian Foreign Policy & Diplomacy

Technological capabilities in outer space have long been used as an effective tool of foreign policy. Some of the prominent examples being U.S using its LandSat satellites to give away data; the Russians flew our own Cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma. We in India have established a long-standing space programme with a history of over 50 years of space exploration. However, have we put to use our capabilities to use as a tool of foreign policy as effectively as other countries?

To recall some of such prominent exchanges, India has some of the best remote sensing satellites in the world and we have provisioned downlink capabilities for these remote sensing satellites for a number of countries.… Click here to read the complete article

India’s NewSpace Entrepreneurs Series: Neha Satak interviewed by Susmita Mohanty

In this edition of India’s NewSpace Entrepreneurs Series: Neha Satak, the Co-founder, CEO of Astrome Technologies is interviewed by Susmita Mohanty. Astrome Technologies, an Indian space technology company is leveraging on cutting edge satellite technology to provide high speed, location free internet. By doing this, Astrome is not just providing an innovative, high tech, solution to a practical problem – it is also opening the doors for a potential transformation in the lives of people who were so far denied access to the latest in technology. Astrome’s first set of satellites are scheduled to take off in 2018.

Perspectives on Creating a Space Industry Ecosystem in India

The space sector can be divided into upstream and downstream. The former comprises manufacturing of satellites, parts, subsystems, launch vehicles while the latter provisions services based on satellites, such as satellite TV, imagery, communications etc. The existing value chain is currently run by government entities, and participation of the commercial space industry is mostly limited to the supply of parts, components- and subsystems-manufacturing or using the space infrastructure created by the government to provide services.

In the present model of engaging the local space industry in India, there is no extensive commercial exploitation of space infrastructure due to lack of deregulation and privatisation.… Click here to read the complete article

Astrome Technologies – Providing Connectivity Anytime, Anywhere.

Startup ecosystem powered by Internet access is transforming our lives in many different ways. We go to the internet to buy, sell, procure services, do financial transaction, get information and most importantly to communicate to each other. But, the rural India, which accounts for more than 68% of India’s population, is out of sync with this changing face of commerce, communication, lifestyle and education. Astrome Technologies, an Indian space technology company is leveraging on cutting edge satellite technology to provide high speed, location free internet. By doing this, Astrome is not just providing an innovative, high tech, solution to a practical problem – it is also opening the doors for a potential transformation in the lives of people who were so far denied access to the latest in technology.Click here to read the complete article

Will ISRO participate in the International Space Station?

For a while now there has been some speculation of possible Indian participation in the International Space Station. This may be an excellent method for space agencies such as NASA and ESA to reach out to ISRO. But, does this hold water? Will this be a primarily foreign policy drive from the West to India or is this to add a more prominent space faring country to the ISS to add another source of funding?

Let us assess the merit of Indian participation in the International Space Station.

While ISRO’s vision is to ‘Harness space technology for national development, while pursuing space science research and planetary exploration’, the cost involved in the human space exploration is 10X the satellite/robotic missions.… Click here to read the complete article

Rocketeers – India’s first private sector foray into Model Rocketry

We interacted with Divyanshu Poddar, Co-Founder & Head Business Development of Rocketeers to learn about journey to bringing the first solid fuel powered rocket science to the students in India. Rocketeers produces solid motor fuel powered rockets as a medium for education in the form of workshop on Model Rocketry in India.

How it all began?

Around December, 2010, me and Gagan Agrawal, my senior at college, saw videos of model rockets being made by young students and enthusiasts in the USA. As students who were working hard to become rocket scientists in one of the premiere space agencies in the world, we were both enthralled by the world of model rocketry and wanted to participate in the same.… Click here to read the complete article

Why ISRO Deserves the Budget Hike it’s Been Recommended

When the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests last visited the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) and reviewed current work there, it recommended a 50% increase in its annual budget. It took note of ‘the need for enhancing manpower, particularly the scientific manpower of ISRO, the lack of which was disabling the organisation to optimise its potential’.

The chairman of ISRO has also stressed “the need for manpower for producing various satellites and also bolster the R&D set up to develop new generation satellite and launch vehicles”.

There are both internal and external demand requirements acting as impetuses to this need for an increased budget.… Click here to read the complete article

Even as it Dares to Dream, ISRO Needs Clear Metrics of Success

Most space enthusiasts have heard how ‘each dollar of NASA spending is a catalyst for $10 of economic benefit’. But have you ever heard someone say “Each rupee of ISRO spending is a catalyst for Rs.10 of economic benefits”? Wouldn’t it be great to have such numbers on hand when folks question investments in the space sector by India every time a new mission is planned?

The mainstream media is quick to latch on to fun facts like how the Mangalyaan mission’s mileage was cheaper than an auto’s and cost less than the Hollywood film Gravity. A slightly better informed space enthusiast perhaps knows that the Government of India is spending about Rs.7,400 crore during fiscal year 2015-2016 on the space programme.… Click here to read the complete article

Ganga Prize – Bottom-Up Approach to Encouraging Innovation in Applications of Remote Sensing in India

India has a host of large-lucrative-unsolved-problems that can utilize space data as an inherent foundation for technology and business models that provide a host of services in data intelligence and analytics. Remote sensing is one such strong tool for mapping and monitoring the use of Earth from land use and land cover, topography and geology, terrestrial (vegetation) ecosystem, agriculture and forestry, hydrology and climate, oceanography and coastal zone, disaster and natural hazards, resource exploration, development of spatial data infrastructure research, etc. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) operates one of the largest fleet of remote sensing satellites of the world, which provides tremendous scope for scaling the utilisation of the data acquired by these assets.… Click here to read the complete article