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China builds highly accurate navigation system

By Cheng Yingqi (

13:32, October 11, 2012

China is building a highly accurate navigation system, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

On Tuesday, the ministry released a report on its website on a strategy seminar recently held in Beijing to discuss the latest progress in navigation technologies.

The National Remote Sensing Center of China said at the seminar that a new navigation system has been successfully tested to pinpoint positions within 0.1 meters in outdoor areas and 3 meters in indoor areas.

The Xihe system, named after a god in ancient China, has already been tested on fieldwork devices.

The center plans to develop an urban positioning system, first in large cities like Shanghai, and then across the country by the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15).

"When you're using a navigation system like GPS in your car, the pinpoint accuracy is about 10 meters, so you will sometimes find that your actual position differs from what is shown on the navigator," said the project leader at the National Remote Sensing Center, who declined to be named due to internal regulations.

"But if you're using the Xihe system you will not have that problem, because the accuracy is 0.1 meter," the director said.

The system is based on a technology known as CRP, or Cooperative Real-time Precise positioning, which is designed to enhance the accuracy of navigation satellite systems.

There are four major navigation satellite systems: the Global Positioning System, or GPS, of the United States, Russia's Glonass, the European Union's Galileo, and China's Beidou.

Cao Jianlin, vice-minister of science and technology, said that the Xihe system is one of the country's major attempts to apply science and technology funds to solve practical problems and catch up in terms of high tech.


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