Planned global satel­lite sys­tem to al­low ‘un­par­al­leled’ ac­cu­racy

Kui­long ex­pected to pro­vide po­si­tion to within 10 cm any­where on planet

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHAO LEI [email protected]­nadaily.com.cn

China will soon start build­ing a space-based po­si­tion­ing and nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem de­signed to pro­vide un­par­al­leled ac­cu­racy to users around the world, ac­cord­ing to project man­agers.

The Kui­long sys­tem will link China’s Bei­dou Nav­i­ga­tion Satel­lite Sys­tem with the Hongyan Satel­lite Con­stel­la­tion, on which con­struc­tion will soon be­gin, said He Xing, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of China Great Wall In­dus­try Corp, which ini­ti­ated the Kui­long pro­gram.

Af­ter the sys­tem is com­pleted, Kui­long users will have ac­cess to their ex­act po­si­tion ac­cu­rate to about 10 cen­time­ters in less than one minute, no mat­ter where they are, He told China Daily on Thurs­day on the side­lines of the Sixth China Space Fo­rum in Bei­jing.

He said the typ­i­cal ac­cu­racy of a GPS read­ing on a mo­bile phone or car-mounted GPS re­ceiver is about 5 to 10 me­ters, and po­si­tion­ing ser­vices are scarce to nonex­is­tent in iso­lated places.

The Kui­long sys­tem will in­volve a so­phis­ti­cated chain of elec­tronic trans­ac­tions from the ground to tens of thou­sands of kilo­me­ters above Earth, said He Mu, head of the Kui­long pro­gram at Great Wall In­dus­try.

The Bei­dou sys­tem will ob­tain ba­sic po­si­tion­ing data and then trans­mit it to ground con­trol, which will use al­go­rithms to im­prove ac­cu­racy be­fore send­ing the in­for­ma­tion to the Hongyan con­stel­la­tion.

Hongyan satel­lites, car­ry­ing aug­men­ta­tion de­vices in low or­bit, will fur­ther process the po­si­tion­ing data and de­liver it to end users around the globe, He Mu said.

The first Hongyan satel­lite is sched­uled to be launched this month atop a Long March 2D car­rier rocket from the Ji­uquan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in north­west­ern China, ac­cord­ing to China Aerospace Science and Tech­nol­ogy Corp, a State-owned space gi­ant and par­ent of Great Wall In­dus­try.

The satel­lite will per­form tech­no­log­i­cal de­mon­stra­tions in an or­bit about 1,100 kilo­me­ters high to ver­ify Hongyan satel­lites’ com­pat­i­bil­ity with low-or­bit and data-trans­mis­sion ca­pac­ity, de­sign­ers said.

China Aerospace in­tends to carry aloft about 60 Hongyan satel­lites be­fore the end of 2022, and then place more than 200 smaller satel­lites in or­bit to form a net­work with global reach.

“When the 60 Hongyan satel­lites be­gin work­ing in or­bit, users will be able to know their po­si­tion with 10-cen­time­ter ac­cu­racy within three min­utes any­where in the world,” He Mu said. “Once the en­tire 300-plus­satel­lite Hongyan con­stel­la­tion is op­er­a­tional, the Kui­long sys­tem will be­come fully func­tional and will give its users the same ac­cu­racy in less than a minute.”

Kui­long would rev­o­lu­tion­ize a wide range of busi­nesses in­clud­ing the in­ter­net of things and smart trans­porta­tion, he said.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A mock-up shows parts of the planned Hongyan Satel­lite Con­stel­la­tion sys­tem.

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