Global Positioning System. GPS. A system of satellites, computers, and receivers that is able to determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by calculating the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver.
The global positioning system (GPS) is a 24-satellite navigation system that uses multiple satellite signals to find a receiver's position on earth. GPS was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The technology was originally used for military purposes.
IRNSS-1A. IRNSS-1A was the first out of seven navigational satellite in the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) series of satellites to be placed in geosynchronous orbit. It was built at ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore, costing ₹125 crore (US$19 million).
Roger Easton spearheaded the creation of the satellite system that lets us know where on Earth we are.
Well but countries should have there own GPS systems. Why? To answer this I will take examples fromo India:
1. The kargil war
2. The failure of brahmos
The kargil war
India tested its nuclear weapon and that resulted into many sanctions by the US govt. on India. Although granting GPS access in not included in technology transfer but helping a country which a year back defied the orders of so-called superpower couldn't have gone well with United States.
Pakistan used to be an American puppet and America did not want to favor India at any area. There are talks that says that the USA had sent naval fleet to help Pakistan 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, also USA was funding Pakistan to fight with terrorism but Pakistan was using those funds for terrorism.
Nawaz sharif lost hist control over pakistan at the time kargil, this is a well known fact. The army was in control of Parvez Mushsharraf. At the same time India was asking for the accurate coordinates from he USA to fight the situation but USA was afraid of the scenario where India could use the informatiom to launch its ballistic missiles. That might start the nuclear war as both the countries were well equipped of the nuclear weapons.
There are documents that says that India started working on its own GPS by the year 2010, but that is totally wrong and illogical. The process was initiated by the end of the Kargil war. The point to note is By denying access to GPS, the US slowed down the Indian offensive.
Although The GPS system was developed by the US, which started in 1973. But yet during the Kargil war in 1999, the US had denied India to provide any GPS information. That triggered the idea of building country’s own navigation system.
2. The failure of Brahmos
The supersonic cruise missile BrahMos missed the target at the Army’s range at Pokhran in Rajasthan because its global positioning system (GPS) blanked out, said DRDO officials. The American satellites that run the GPS had been switched off on the day Barack Obama was sworn in the United States President, they said. The missile, therefore, travelled for 112 seconds instead of the slated 84 seconds and fell 7 km away from the target.
The officials could not say whether the Americans had deliberately switched off the GPS satellites to test whether India’s missile mission would be a success without them. They conceded that it was possible to switch off GPS-linked satellites selectively. The failure of the mission, therefore, has underlined the need for India to have its own GPS-linked satellites instead of depending on American or Russian constellations, said an official.
Officials of the DRDO described the January 20 mission as a difficult one because the target was just 50 km away instead of the normal 290 km. The missile, launched in a land-attack mode, had to hit a particular target out of a cluster of targets. The Army insisted that the error in hitting the target, which resembled a chemical weapons factory, could not exceed one metre. Reflectors had been installed to mislead the missile.
The DRDO, therefore, made a new seeker for the missile to meet this challenge. A software was developed with a new algorithm, which was to help the missile reach the target by using the GPS data obtained from the U.S. satellites. The mission demanded that the missile’s inertial navigation system (INS), its GPS receiver and its seeker should all work together.
But there were constraints on the mission. A DRDO official said: “When the missile is flying very fast, it is difficult to perform manoeuvres…. The GPS data did not come in time, so the INS data with its uncorrected error was taken as the reference and we missed the target.”
The above two major incidents tells the importance of own GPS for any country. But creating this technology is not an easy task, that involves lots of calculations and hardware failure probabilities means a huge budget.