In a big boost to the Indian space industry, International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has recognised ISRO's Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) or desi GPS as a component of World-Wide Radio Navigation System.

With this, India has become the fourth nation in the world to have its independent regional navigation satellite system. The other countries that have their navigation systems recognised by IMO are the US, Russia, and China, reported The Times of India.

This recognition will enable NavIC to be utilised in the fields of maritime navigation, surveying and geodesy (the science of accurately measuring Earth's geometric shape, its orientation in space and its gravity field).

The recognition was awarded at the 102nd meeting of the maritime safety committee of the IMO held last month, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement. The Directorate General of Shipping (DGS), Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways represented NavIC or Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) at the IMO.

In April, NavIC L5 was incorporated in the Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services standard 10403.3 for differential global navigation satellite system (GNSS) applications.

NavIC can provide two types of services- standard positioning service (SPS) that can be used by all navigation users and restricted service (RS), which is an encrypted service provided only to authorised users like security agencies.

It provides error-free position information to users in India as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its international boundary.

NavIC can provide a position accuracy of better than 20 metres in the primary service area and offer services like terrestrial and marine navigation, disaster management, vehicle tracking and fleet management, navigation aide for hikers and travellers, visual and voice navigation for drivers.

Last year, NavIC was approved by Global standards body 3GPP, which develops protocols for mobile telephony. This has boosted the desi GPS's use for commercial purposes by international and domestic mobile device markets.