China’s Beidou reaches world-leading level: white paper

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A carrier rocket carrying the last satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) blasts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, June 23, 2020. (Photo by Liu Huaiyu/People's Daily Online)
A carrier rocket carrying the last satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) blasts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, June 23, 2020. (Photo by Liu Huaiyu/People's Daily Online)

By Bao Han

Chin’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is now a top-class system with cutting-edge technologies, pioneering design and powerful functions, according to a white paper published on Nov.4 by the State Council Information Office.
The 12,000-word paper, titled “China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System in the New Era,” consists of six main parts including the operation management and governance of the BDS, as well as the sustainable development of the BDS applications industry.

According to the paper, China began to develop its own navigation satellite system in 1994. BDS-1 entered service and began providing positioning services in China at the end of 2000. On July 31, 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced to the world that BDS-3 was officially commissioned – a sign that BDS began to provide global services.
After many years in development, it has become an important new element of China’s infrastructure, providing high-accuracy, round-the-clock positioning, navigation and timing services to global users in all weathers, the paper said.

The system has reached a world-leading level in core technologies in terms of hybrid constellation, inter-satellite links, and signal structure that follow international standards.

The paper also noted BeiDou’s outstanding batch production capability, saying 18 rockets have deployed 30 BDS satellites into orbit in less than three years, “a pace unmatched by any other country.”

China will further upgrade BDS technologies, functions and services in the future, the paper said. The country will help improve people’s wellbeing and promote human progress by achieving the goal to create a comprehensive spatiotemporal system that is more extensive, more integrated, and more intelligent, and that provides flexible, smart, precise and secure navigation, positioning and timing services.

The paper also highlighted the international cooperation and applications of Beidou in building a global community of shared future.

According to the paper, the country has engaged in active cooperation with other countries and international organizations on technology R&D and the satellite navigation industry by setting up overseas BDS application and industrialization promotion centers.

It is strengthening cooperation with regional organizations such as ASEAN, the African Union, the League of Arab States, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, and releasing BDS-based solutions in the fields of smart cities, public security, precision agriculture, digital transport, and disaster prevention and mitigation, which are being piloted in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

“China is ready to share its achievements in developing BDS, and it will work with all countries to promote the development of navigation satellite systems, venture into deeper space, and make an even greater contribution to building a global community of shared future and a better world,” the paper said.

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