Bei­dou Sys­tem

Beijing Review - - THIS WEEK SOCIETY -

With the launch of two new Bei­dou-3 satel­lites for the home­grown Bei­dou Nav­i­ga­tion Satel­lite Sys­tem (BDS) on Novem­ber 19, China will have com­pleted its ba­sic nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem and start to pro­vide ser­vices for coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive by the end of the year.

“This is a key step for the

BDS de­vel­op­ing from a do­mes­tic Chi­nese sys­tem to a re­gional and then a global sys­tem,” said Yang Changfeng, chief de­signer of the sys­tem.

China plans to launch an­other 11 Bei­dou-3 satel­lites in the com­ing two years. By the end of 2020, the BDS, named af­ter the Chi­nese term for the Big Dip­per con­stel­la­tion, will go global and pro­vide high-pre­ci­sion, re­li­able po­si­tion­ing, nav­i­ga­tion and tim­ing ser­vices any­where in the world.

“China de­vel­oped the BDS through a unique tech­no­log­i­cal ap­proach, con­tribut­ing Chi­nese wis­dom to the the­ory and con­struc­tion of in­ter­na­tional satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems,” said Xie Jun, deputy chief de­signer of the BDS.

A to­tal of 18 BDS satel­lites have been sent into space from the Xichang Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in south­west China’s Sichuan Prov­ince in 2018.

“This year has seen the most in­ten­sive launch of BDS satel­lites. We im­proved our work ef­fi­ciency by re­form­ing the man­age­ment process. The num­ber of satel­lite staff at the launch cen­ter has been re­duced by nearly half, and the test­ing time be­fore launch has been short­ened by nearly a third,” Chi Jun said, head of the Bei­dou-3 satel­lite team from the China Academy of Space Tech­nol­ogy.

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