“BeiDou” a new Chinese Navigation System That Could Rival GPS

Chinese Navigation System
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

“BeiDou” a new Chinese Navigation System That Could Rival GPS

China is celebrating the completion of the “BeiDou” the Chinese Navigation System satellite , which can compete with the US global positioning system “GPS” and greatly enhance Chinese security and geopolitical influence.

On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping officially launched the system at a ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

This came in the wake of the announcement that the fifty-fifth and final satellite, which was launched on June 23, started work after completing all the tests.

The satellite is part of the third iteration of the “BeiDou” system known as “PDS3”, which began providing navigation services in 2018 to countries participating in the Sprawling Infrastructure Initiative with China “Belt and Road” along with other countries.

In addition to being a highly accurate navigation aid, the system provides the ability to handle short messages and the ability to transmit images.

While China says it is seeking to cooperate with other satellite navigation systems, BeiDou could eventually compete with GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and Galileo networks of the European Union.

To bring this competition closer, what is happening now is similar to the way Chinese mobile phone makers and other technologically advanced devices have invaded their foreign competitors.

“While China says it seeks cooperation with other satellite navigation systems, Beidou could ultimately compete against GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo networks. That’s similar to how Chinese mobile phone makers and other producers of technically sophisticated hardware have taken on their foreign rivals.” Time Report

On Wednesday (June 17), the country launched its third Gaofen-9 Earth observation satellite into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. The mission also carried two smaller satellites — a tiny picosatellite called Pixing-3 developed by the Zhejiang University and the fifth Automated Identification System services satellite for the private company HEAD Aerospace, according to SpaceNews.

The Chinese navigation system or BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS)

The new Chinese navigation system is called the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). It is a global navigation satellite system developed by China and currently operates with 35 satellites in orbit, providing global coverage. The system was initially developed for military purposes, but it is also used for civilian applications such as transportation, surveying, and mapping.

The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System provides positioning, navigation, and timing services with high accuracy and reliability. It is expected to offer more accurate positioning and timing services than the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russia’s GLONASS system. The BDS also has a unique feature called “global short message communication,” which allows users to send short messages to other users through the satellite system.

The development of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is part of China’s effort to become less dependent on foreign technology and enhance its strategic capabilities.

Brief history about BeiDou:

BeiDou is a satellite navigation system developed by China. It provides positioning, navigation, and timing services to users on a global scale. The system is named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation, which has seven stars and is used as a symbol for the navigation system.

The development of BeiDou began in the 1990s, and the first experimental satellite was launched in 2000. Since then, China has launched a series of satellites into orbit to build out the BeiDou constellation. The system consists of both geostationary and non-geostationary satellites, which work together to provide precise positioning and timing information to users on the ground.

BeiDou is designed to be compatible with other global navigation satellite systems, such as GPS and Galileo, and can be used in a wide range of applications, including transportation, agriculture, surveying, and mapping. The system has both civilian and military applications, and is seen as a key part of China’s efforts to increase its technological capabilities and expand its global influence.