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Step towards ‘Atmanirbharta’: Bengaluru space firm launches NavIC chip set to reduce dependence on GPS


By Manjeet Negi: In a development that could revolutionize satellite-based navigation in India and abroad, Elena Geo Systems, a Bengaluru-based space technology firm, on Thursday unveiled a chip that could form the core of navigation, positioning and timing applications in India. The chip works using Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) or the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) satellites.

Elena Geo Systems founder Lieutenant Colonel V S Velan handed over the chip to Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan in the presence of Dr. Samir V Kamat, Chairman of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari.

The chip has many cores that serve the requirements of signal acquisition, regeneration, processing and the output interface and hence, it has been named as the NavIC processor.

This will enable high precision and accuracy for all the three types of applications such as navigation, positioning and timing, making India self-reliant in this domain. The company has been pursuing advanced technologies to manufacture these chips and modules, some of which have been supplied to the Indian Army and some private entities. Elena Geo Systems was incubated at IIT-Kharagpur in 2012 and is now a member of the Delhi-based Indian Space Association.

Elena Geo Systems founder and Chief Technology Officer Lieutenant Colonel V S Velan said, “We are thrilled to present India’s first fully designed and developed NavIC chip. As India moves ahead with its space policy, we feel this is an opportune time to use a truly Indian product. The processor will give India a huge edge as both the government and private sector can move away from their dependence on the American Global Positioning System (GPS). Elena is in the process of patenting the technology and the product, which has been developed by our dedicated R&D team”.

The multi-frequency and multi-constellation GNSS chip/processor, developed specifically for NavIC, is compact and easy to integrate into any GNSS circuit and provides continuous coverage and high accuracy reception to the user. Based on a special algorithm for use across India and neighboring countries, the Elena’s chip conforms to the requirements laid down by ISRO for IRNSS/NavIC signal reception.

Besides, the military grade chip can be used in a wide array of applications on land, air and water. For the defence forces, the chip can used in handheld devices, for operational logistics, in ships, submarines, radars and drones and artillery weapons and weapons platforms.

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