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Broadcast & Satellite

China launches Beidou satellite navigation system

Wednesday 28 December 2011 | 09:34 CET | News
China has started to operate its own satellite positioning system, Beidou, reports the China Daily. Beidou, or Big Dipper, is the domestic version of the US' GPS. It started providing navigation, positioning and timing data on a pilot basis to China and the neighboring area free, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, Ran Chengqi said. The system, with ten orbiting satellites, covers an area from Australia in the south to Russia in the north. Signals can reach the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in the west and the Pacific Ocean in the east, Chengqi said. With six more satellites to be launched next year, the system will cover a wider area and eventually the entire globe by 2020 with a constellation of 35 satellites. During the trial run Beidou can offer positioning to within 25 meters, but when the system is officially launched next year, accuracy will be enhanced to within ten meters, he said. Beidou tells users where they are and what time it is, and allows users to tell others the information through short messages. The office put a test version of the system's Interface Control Document online, which is a technical document needed for the manufacturing and development of receivers and chips. Chips supporting both GPS and Beidou systems have been developed, and terminals have been produced.

Categories: Broadcast & Satellite
Companies: Beidou
Countries: China
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