New Delhi: A major lacuna in India's 'desi' Global Positioning System (GPS) has been filled by linking it to the atomic clocks that determine the Indian Standard Time. This reduces Navigation with Indian Constellation's (NavIC) dependence on the American GPS and adds a level of precision and accuracy that was missing in the Indian system.
India's desi GPS or NavIC Indian Regional Satellite Navigation System set up by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) added a massive upgrade by linking the system to the atomic clocks of the Indian Standard Time, this will aid razor-sharp and precious guidance of missiles, and help maintaining cyber security.
The NavIC system got a fresh fillip as the constellation of seven satellites was linked to the ground-based atomic clocks. The ISRO and India's premier time keeper National Physical Laboratory inked the deal to share the data.
Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Prime Minister Office, said, "Timing is important for crime detection and a fraction of a second makes all the difference. The NAVIC synchronises time and helps avert cyber crime."
The Indian satellite system was till now dependent on the American GPS for its time synchronization, now it will link to India's own atomic clocks giving almost six orders of magnitude more accuracy and reduce foreign dependence.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Science minister, said, "Atomic clocks will falter only for a fraction of second in billions of years."
According to National Physical Laboratory of India, in satellite based navigation systems, the spatial resolution is decided by precise synchronisation of the clocks embedded in the end user's device with clocks in the satellites.
The accuracy of satellite navigation systems depends on the proper synchronisation of on-board clocks. For navigation purpose at least four satellites are needed to know someone's position accurately.
The time has to be incredibly accurate as light travels 30 cm in one nanosecond (or 300 million metres in one second) so that any tiny error in the time signal could put a defined activity by a very long way.
The newly linked system will boost India's cyber security backbone. Dr Girish Sahni, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi told NDTV, "One trilionth of a part of a second accuracy is necessary for such sophisticated things like launching satellites, tracking the movement of missiles across continents, and also in term of cyber security where within a fraction of a second thousands of emails and digital messages cross the continents."
This now gives the GPS enough accuracy to target missiles with precision at our western and eastern enemies.