India test Gagan navigation system for choppers’ flight operation

Jointly developed by ISRO and the AAI, Gagan will also provide capability for increased accuracy in position reporting, allowing for more uniform and high-quality air traffic management

Gagan navigation system

Mumbai: India conducted Asia’s first demonstration of performance-based navigation for helicopters for a flight from Juhu to Pune using Gagan satellite technology (navigation system). In a tweet on Wednesday, Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said it is a fine example of the “Indian aviation sector blazing a trail in innovations!”

“The flight from Juhu to Pune made use of the #GAGAN satellite technology that enhances accuracy, allowing for high quality air traffic management. Congratulations @AAI_Official,” the minister said.

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Gagan is the acronym for GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation. The Gagan uses a system of ground stations to provide necessary augmentations to the GPS standard positioning service (SPS) navigation signal, said an officer of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Explaining further, he said a network of precisely surveyed ground reference stations, called INdianReference Stations (INRES) is strategically positioned across the country to collect GPS satellite data. “Using this information, the master control centre, INdian Master Control Centre (INMCC) generates messages to correct any signal errors. These correction messages are then uplinked through INdian Land Uplink Station (or INLUS) and broadcast through communication satellites (Geostationary) to receivers onboard aircraft using the same frequency as GPS,” he said.

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Gagan navigation system is particular more helpful for the helicopters, as they often have to fly in the unknown or little known territory and have to land at places having hardly any prominent land mark. The new navigation system will help the pilots to pinpoint their location during the flight and landing, as Gagan is designed to provide the additional accuracy, availability, and integrity necessary to enable users to rely on GPS for all phases of flight, from en route through approach for all qualified airports within the Gagan service volume.

Gagan will also provide the capability for increased accuracy in position reporting, allowing for more uniform and high-quality air traffic management (ATM). In addition, Gagan will provide benefits beyond aviation to all modes of transportation, including maritime, highways, and railroads.

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It is a space-based augmentation system for providing the best possible navigational services over the Indian FIR (Flight Information Region) with the capability of expanding to neighbouring FIRs. It was jointly developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

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