In a much-anticipated event on Tuesday, Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Perhaps the most striking visual change in the iPhone 15 Pro series is the introduction of a brushed titanium frame, replacing the glossy stainless-steel frame seen on last year’s models.
However, it’s beneath the surface where the true innovation of the iPhone 15 series comes to light. Apple has integrated precision dual-frequency GPS, including support for GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou, and NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation), developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
What is NavIC?
NavIC, previously known as the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), represents a regional navigation satellite system comprised of seven satellites and an extensive network of ground stations operating around the clock.
It offers two services: Standard Position Service (SPS) for civilian users and Restricted Service (RS) catering to strategic users. The coverage area extends 1500 kilometres beyond India’s borders. NavIC signals boast remarkable precision, delivering user position accuracy better than 20 meters and timing accuracy better than 50 nanoseconds, outperforming many of its global navigation satellite system counterparts, according to ISRO.
The development of the system was, in part, a response to the uncertainty of accessing global navigation satellite systems controlled by foreign governments, particularly in situations of hostility.
An example of this occurred in 1999 when the Indian military requested Global Positioning System (GPS) data for the Kargil region from the United States, but the request was denied, depriving them of critical information. In May 2006, the Indian government granted approval for the project.