Indian regional navigation satellite system, UTRAQ, was launched here on Friday

The ‘desi’ GPS module that we have been hearing about ever since last year, is finally a reality. At an event in New Delhi, MobileTek and Rama Krishna Electro Pvt. Ltd introduced UTRAQ, a VTS module that is based on India Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) to track locations. Until now, the GPS-based applications in devices were based on the feed given by the US satellites but UTRAQ will be based on India’s own satellite system, giving more accurate and reliable location data.

There are two modules that have been launched. These include the L110 GNSS module that is a compact NavIC module, while the L100 GNSS module is a smaller-sized POT (Patch on Top) IRNSS module. These modules can be used for different tasks other than tracking. These include ranging, command, control, timing and more.

This means the modules can be used in marine navigation, aerial navigation, terrestrial navigation for hikers and travellers, vehicle tracking, Geodetic data capture among others. The module will be given as samples to partners initially and may take some time to reach the consumer products.

For those unaware, the push to make a ‘Desi’ VTS module (that is a part of IRNSS) for services and devices came soon after the Kargil war in 1999 when Pakistan troops took positions in Kargil. At that time, India asked for the GPS location data handled by the US satellites only to face a denial. The GPS-based data by the US would’ve given some vital information, helping India control the damage. Now, with UTRAQ that is based on IRNSS, which is controlled by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), systems will be able to see more accurate data without any dependency on foreign satellites.

It is worth adding that IRNSS (on which UTRAQ is based upon) is said to provide the positioning for the Indian region 1,500 km around the Indian mainland as the primary service area. Also mentioned is that the extended service area would lie between the primary service area and the area enclosed inside the Latitude 300 South to 500 North and Longitude 300 East to 1300 East.

The UTRAQ modules support L1 and L5 bands, EPOTM orbit prediction, EASYTM self-generated orbit prediction and measures 18x16x2.3mm.