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China's BeiDou navigation satellite system targets global service around 2020

(Xinhua)    10:58, June 16, 2016

Ran Chengqi (R), spokesman for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), addresses a press conference on the development of the BDS in Beijing, capital of China, June 16, 2016. The Chinese government on Thursday released the white paper about the development of the BDS, which is independently developed and operated by China. (Xinhua/Li He)

BEIJING, June 16 -- The Chinese government on Thursday released a white paper elaborating on the action plan for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), which has been independently developed and operated by China.

China has formulated a three-step strategy for developing the BDS, according to the document released by the State Council Information Office. The aim is to complete the deployment of the 35 satellite constellation around 2020 to provide services to global users.

The system is expected to provide basic services to the nations along the Belt and Road, as well as neighboring countries, two years before achieving the 2020 goal.

This is the first white paper on the navigation satellite system. It is also the 100th white paper released by the office.

Initially, China aimed to provide navigation services to domestic users. The following stage featured the expansion of the network to cover the Asia-Pacific region, which was achieved by the end of 2012.

The BeiDou project was formally launched in 1994, however, the first BeiDou satellite was not launched until 2000. The 23rd satellite was launched Sunday.

Currently, the system is providing open services to the Asia-Pacific region free of charge, according to the white paper.

The services cover an area between 55 degrees north latitude and 55 degrees south latitude, and between 55 and 180 degrees east longitude, with positioning accuracy less than 10 meters, velocity measurement accuracy less than 0.2 meters per second, and timing accuracy less than 50 nanoseconds.

The BDS will provide all-time, all-weather and high-accuracy positioning, navigation and timing services to global users, according to the document.


BDS spokesperson Ran Chengqi told a press conference Thursday that tests in the Asia-Pacific region showed the system is performing well.

Ran, who is also director of China's Satellite Navigation System management office, said that in priority cities including Beijing and Urumqi, the capital city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, positioning accuracy is less than 5 meters.

The same result can be duplicated in low latitude countries, such as Thailand, according to Ran.

In addition to providing continuous, stable and reliable services for global users, the BDS will support national security, economic and social development, and improve people's living standards.


The system's space segment is a hybrid constellation of satellites in three kinds of orbits. In comparison with other navigation satellite systems, the BDS operates more satellites in high orbit to offer better anti-shielding capabilities, which is particularly observable in terms of performance in the low-latitude areas.

The BDS provides navigation signals of multiple frequencies, and is able to improve service accuracy by using combined multi-frequency signals.

The system integrates navigation and communication capabilities for the first time, and has five major functions -- real-time navigation, rapid positioning, precise timing, location reporting and short message communication services.


China would like to "share the fruits of development in the field of satellite navigation, increasing the comprehensive application benefits of Global Navigation Satellite System," according to the white paper.

International cooperation and exchanges on navigation satellite systems will be encouraged and the BDS' compatibility with other systems will be enhanced to provide better services to end users.

"As the BDS joins hands with other navigation satellite systems, China will work with all other countries, regions and international organizations to promote global satellite navigation development and make the BDS better serve the world and benefit mankind", said the document.

Adhering to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) regulations, China works to facilitate coordination of BDS frequencies and orbital slots through negotiations.

Since 2000 China has been involved in coordination activities on more than 300 satellite networks with more than 20 countries, regions and international organizations, according to the white paper.

Meanwhile, China will spare no effort to get the system ratified by the International Organization for Standardization as well as other international organizations in the industrial and professional application sectors.

In November 2014 the BDS gained recognition from the International Maritime Organization, according to the white paper.


Products related to the BDS have been used in areas including communication and transportation, marine fisheries, weather forecasting, mapping and geographic information, and forest fire prevention.

According to Ran, more than 40,000 fishing vessels along China's coastline are now equipped with BeiDou application terminals.

The nation is establishing an industrial system for the BDS and fostering "an independent BDS industrial chain," according to the white paper.

Moreover, China is developing chips, modules, antennae and other basic products based on the BDS and other compatible systems, it said.

Ran said the BDS technology had been applied to more than 24 million terminals and more than 18 million mobile phones featured BeiDou chips by the end of April.

The government also encourages the integrated development of the BDS with big data and cloud computing.

BEIJING, June 16, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Ran Chengqi, spokesman for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), shows a watch based on the BDS during a press conference on the development of the BDS in Beijing, capital of China, June 16, 2016. The Chinese government on Thursday released the white paper about the development of the BDS, which is independently developed and operated by China. (Xinhua/Li He)

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Huang Jin,Bianji)

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