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Network construction of Beidou navigation system to be completed in three years
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17:20, April 16, 2009

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The second Beidou navigation satellite (Beidou II) was successfully launched into its designed orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 0:16 am on April 15, according to China National Space Administration

An official from the National Engineering Center of Satellite Navigation said that Beidou II, a geostationary satellite, can provide services such as positioning, velocity measurements and time synchronization to China and peripheral regions.

Compared with "Beidou I," which is currently in operation, Beidou II has advantages in many aspects, including effective avoidance of electromagnetic interference and attack, and passive location ability with highly improved accuracy. While Beidou I has an accuracy of within 10 meters, Beidou II has raised this to within one centimeter.

An official with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, this satellite's successful launch is a sign that the Beidou satellite navigation system, which China independently developed, has entered a peak time of satellite-based network construction. It is predicted that a satellite navigation positioning system covering the whole world will be completed by around 2020. Several Beidou satellites will be launched this year to complete the formation of a satellite-based network for a system that will be available for essential operation capabilities and will develop the system into a global service.

Since 2000, China has launched three Beidou navigation test satellites in succession and has established a test system. During the Wenchuan earthquake disaster last year, the system played an important role in providing navigation and positioning services. China is currently developing the second-generation Beidou satellite navigation and positioning system, and in April 2007 it launched the first satellite. The satellite it launched on April 15 this year is the second one in the system.

Beidou system listed as one of four major satellite navigation systems in the world

Beidou satellite navigation and positioning system consists of three sections. These are the four Beidou positioning satellites (two working satellites and two backup satellites), a ground control center and Beidou subscriber terminals. China's Beidou navigation system, the US-based Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and the Galileo Positioning System of the EU are the four major global satellite navigation systems. At present, the United Nations has already confirmed that the four systems are core suppliers in global satellite navigation.

By People's Daily Online

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