Facilitating EU-Asia industrial cooperation on satellite navigation applications

GNSS Opportunities in India


India as an emerging GNSS market in Asia may become a biggest user of GNSS in Navigation, Geographic Data Collection, Location Based Services, and Agriculture, Disaster Management (Search and Rescue Management) below  are the sectorial analysis :


Sl. No.



Present Scenarios

Future Predication



1.1 Spacecraft

Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS.
IRNSS is an autonomous regional satellite navigation system being developed by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The system is being developed to reduce the country’s dependency on GPS.

The first satellite of the system is scheduled to be launched during 2012-2013, while the constellation of is expected to be completed by 2014.

There is an increasing trend in Budget allocation for Space programs like Chandrayaan-2, a lunar exploration mission, development activities related to India’s human spaceflight ambitions. ISRO's plans for Mars exploration.





1.2 Aircraft (Civil Aviation)

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to implement an indigenous Satellite-Based Regional GPS Augmentation System also known as Space-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) as part of the Satellite-Based Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS)/Air Traffic Management (ATM) plan for civil aviation. The Indian SBAS system has been given an acronym GAGAN - GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation. A national plan for satellite navigation including implementation of Technology Demonstration System (TDS) over the Indian air space as a proof of concept has been prepared jointly by Airports Authority of India (AAI) and ISRO.

Apart from the civilian sector, the system is also likely to be used in non-civil aviation sectors like maritime applications, improved surveying and cartography, scientific research etc. 



1.3 Vehicle (Roads)

Vehicle Navigation system has very poor presence in India, only few urban cities (around 36 -40) are mapped.


We have Indian and International navigation solutions companies market.

Only few high end cars comes with built in navigation system built-in by manufacturers. There are stand-alone devices in the market like MapMyIndia, SATNAV, Blaupunkt, and TomTom.

Not matured like US and European market.

Non availability real-time traffic information will affect the growth of this segment.


Opportunities for   collaboration in

-          Dynamic Traffic Flow Data

-          Traffic Messages

-          Real time information on public transport

-          Parking information

Fleet Management System there are smart vehicle tracking system available and in use by logistics to improve the process efficiency.


Some of the State Public Road Transportation systems had deployed FMS solutions for operational efficiency; there are some projects on pilot mode.


BPO and Call center companies in India had deployed Hazardous Driving Detection System (HDDS)

A unique and intelligent system to not only monitor drunken driver by alcohol but also with the Hazardous driving patterns for their employee safety.

In India there are many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in VMS & FMS sector like importer, assemblers, resellers, Mobile application developers, Web application developers, and Business Intelligence solutions providers, and customized the solutions as per customer requirements.

Latest technology is available in India, but not supported by good physical infrastructure to maximize the efficiency.


In India there is no central database that can process the output of Fleet management system for collective benefit; each company has its own database and solutions which is not linked to other system.


This sector needs standardization and central data collection and processing unit, Business Intelligence centre, Opportunities for Public Private Projects.


Only organized sectors use FMS and VMS devices. There is huge unorganized mobility sector which can be tapped.  Government regulation in implementation of VMS and FMS is weak in India




1.4 Marine (Sea)

India is in the process of implementing Automatic Identification System (AIS) in Seventy-two select lighthouses along the country’s 7,500-km coastline will be base stations for the new Automatic Identification System (AIS), monitoring vessel movements and maritime activities within a 50 km radius of the shore.


SAAB Transponders Tech AB, Sweden, and Elecome Marine Services, India have implemented the system which use GPS signals for processing


Implementation of  Automatic Identification System (AIS)


Leads to opportunities in


- Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), radio navigation,


- Vessel Traffic Management Services (VTMS) and


- The Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS)


SARAL  an Indo-French satellite will provide data products to operational and research user communities, in support of marine meteorology and sea state forecasting; operational oceanography; seasonal forecasting; climate monitoring; ocean, earth system and climate research.

Provides opportunity to use signals for coastal zone observation, fisheries, predicting weather changes etc.



1.5 Railways

Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS – technology wing of Indian Railways)


ISRO’s INSAT-3C satellite will aid in location of moving trains.


A pilot project, Satellite Imaging for Rail Navigation (SIMRAN), for real time passenger information system by utilizing GPS is in progress.

There is an urgent need for automation in Indian Railways. In the areas for potential growth

-  Rail traffic management

-  Goods Tracking

-  Passenger information systems ( Train Running status)

-   Railway Disaster Management

- There is capacity constraint in Indian Railways should improve operational efficiency to match Demand and Capacity.


Geographic Data Collection

2.1 Mapping / Surveying

Indian Geospatial Market is on the verge of a humongous growth


Growth of Indian Geospatial Industry vis-a vis worldwide growth


Geospatial information is crucial and significant when we talk about India as a developing nation. The public sector organisations are recognizing the value of geospatial for decision support and the private sector orgnaisations are using it as a tool for market development.


India’s reputation as an outsourcing destination has also played a role, enabling the country to develop significant technical expertise in the geospatial arena.


One of the most promising developments in India’s geospatial industry has been the opening up of mapping data and information by the state. This is enabling government bodies and the private sector to actively participate in the advancement of the industry. Lot of businesses and Industries are using geospatial services in India for analysis of demography, competitiveness, expansion, risk management, target oriented marketing, planning of route etc.


Sectors in geospatial Services in India:

-          Health Care 

-          Central and State Govts.

-          Logistics 

-          Agriculture 

-          Telecommunications 

-          Gas and Electric 

-          Petroleum 

-          Environmental management 

-          Public Safety 

-          Forest Department 

-          Infrastructure 

National Land Record Modernization Programme (NLRMP) - aimed to modernize management of land records, minimize scope of land/property disputes, and enhance transparency in the land records maintenance system.
Restructured Accelerated Power Development & Reforms Programme (R-APDRP) Ministry of Power - The focus of the programme Establishment of reliable and automated systems for sustained collection of accurate base line data, and the adoption of Information Technology in the areas of energy accounting.
Five years down the line (by 2017) hope is that substantial data (from government departments) may be available for enterprise GIS developers and business to exploit it and develop enterprise GIS applications 



2.2 Remote Sensing

India has the largest constellation of remote sensing satellites in the world providing imagery in a variety of spatial resolutions, from more than a meter ranging up to 500 meters, and is a major player in vending such data in the global market. With 11 remote sensing/earth observation satellites orbiting in the space, India is a world leader in the remote sensing data market.


ISRO’s – RISAT Satellite output is used in the below research


  1. Groundwater Prospects and Recharge Zone Mapping
  2. National Wastelands Monitoring
  3. National Wetlands Inventory and Assessment
  4. Snow and Glaciers Studies  
  5. Coastal Zone Studies
  6. Forecasting Agricultural output using Space, Agro meteorology and Land based observations (FASAL)
  7. Assessment of Irrigation Potential under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (AIBP)
  8. National Agricultural Drought Assessment and Monitoring System
  9. Biodiversity Characterization
  10. National Urban Information System (NUIS)
  11. Indian Forest Fire Response and Assessment System (INFFRAS)
  12. Water Resources Information System (WRIS)
  13. Space Based Information System for Decentralized Planning (SIS-DP)
  14. Natural Resources Census (NRC)
  15. Flood Mapping and Monitoring
  16. Watershed Monitoring and Development
  17. Potential Fishery Zone (PFZ) Forecasting

Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), plans to increase its remote sensing data products market share with the launch of Resource-sat-2


Currently the Indian Remote Sensing data products are reaching around 70 countries either through a reseller or through ISRO’s own ground station.





Location Based Services

3.1 Mobile

India now has approached has approx. 929 million mobile connection, with 597 million urban subscribers and 332 million rural as on 31st May 2012


Mobile phone based consumer

Location-based services (LBS) are value added services that are built around the geographic position of the mobile phone or other location enabled devices.


GPS companies (both local and international) are competing to grab a piece of this Indian LBS market, especially in logistics for tracking cargo and trucks across the country. The GPS and telematics market in India is still in its infancy, but is developing rapidly owing to an increased use of technology in fleet management, transport navigational systems and other areas.

The LBS market in India has huge potential LBS is a $20 billion potential value market and 70% of people say that they use services like navigation, alerts etc.

Smartphone adoption is rapidly increasing, with availability at low price points.  This would allow more subscribers to access evolved mobile engagement solutions

New Technologies , 3G & LTE will boost LBS market in Mobile  advertisements


Main challenges are the availability of high quality map data and Points of Interest (POI) data.


The Indian mobile industry market structure as determined through policy and regulation has not favored the growth of competition and innovation in value added services such as LBS.



3.2 Tourism

Many travel companies In India are also embracing location technology to promote tourism

Companies are developing Guided Tour with GPS navigation on a 3D Map

LBS technologies in Tourism Industry are in infancy stage.



3.3 Retailing

In India, approximately 10% of the retail market is organised - the likes of Big Bazaar, Reliance Fresh etc. The remaining 90%, mostly single outlet retails stores have a modest or a near to nil marketing budget for LBS. 

If FDI (Foreign Direct Investment ) in Retail segment is passed in the India Parliament use of LBS tech. in Retail will get a big boost



4.1 Precision Farming

Precision farming is slowly catching up the attention of Indian farmers to optimize their inputs use to facilitate optimal output resulting in saving of valuable resources like water and energy.


Precision farming Technologies are:


  1. Remote sensing technology : Making use of the GIS, the physiographic map, soil map and land use map for
  2. Chisel plough
  3. Hi-Tech Community Nursery
  4. Drip and Fertigation System
  5. Market Support
  6. Farm documentation and record Maintenance


Few pilot projects implemented successfully in South India in integrating the above technologies


Government of India encouraging precision farming with special grants.


ISRO had launch “GRAMSAT” to assist farmers in precision farming projects

Precision farming had adequately prepared the farmers for market driven production at a time when Multi-National Companies are all set for invasion into retail vegetable market in India.


The use of GPS (presently) in Agriculture is limited but it is fair to expect wide spread use of GPS in future.




Disaster Management

5.1 Search and Rescue

India is a member of the international COSPAS-SARSAT (The mission of the Programme is to provide accurate, timely and reliable distress alert and location data to help Search and Rescue (SAR) authorities assist persons in distress. ) programme for providing distress alert and position location service through LEOSAR (Low Earth Orbit Search And Rescue) satellite system. Under this programme, India has established two Local User Terminals (LUTs), one at Lucknow and the other at Bangalore. The Indian Mission Control Centre (INMCC) is located at ISTRAC, Bangalore.


INSAT-3A is equipped Search and Rescue payload that picks up and relays alert signals originating from the distress beacons of maritime, aviation and land users. INSAT and GOES systems have become an integral part of the COSPAS-SARSAT system and they complement the LEOSAR system.


Satellite Aided Search and Rescue (SASAR) - The Indian Mission Control Centre (INMCC), which is responsible for providing distress alerting services to National Aeronautical and Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (ARCCs and MRCCs), Search and Rescue Points of Contact (SPOC) in seven neighbouring countries and other international Mission Control Centres (MCCs), is co-located with the Bangalore LUT.

ISRO is currently working to accommodate upcoming system requirements. Some of them are:

  • Implementation of International beacon registration database (IBRD)
  • Augmentation of communication system with Internet based “FTP” over VPN and “Email” systems
  • Upgrade of GEO, LEO and INMCC ground processing systems
  • Implementation of Ship Security Alarm System (SSAS)
  • Development of low cost beacons
  • Development of computerized RCC and MRCC Operations
  • Extension of INMCC Terminal (with limited capabilities) to RCCs and MRCCs
  • Inclusion of the SAR payload on INSAT-3D spacecraft (as on-orbit standby)
  • Development of MEOSAR system (SAR Instruments on GNSS (GLONAS/ GPS/ Galileo satellites)



GNSS.asia project is funded by the European Union within the Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 287244.