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China Launches its Own GPS

By - Source: BeiDou | B 33 comments
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China has opened its own global positioning system to the public. Called BeiDou, the technology promises about the same accuracy as GPS - about 10 meters - but covers only a small section of the world.

There are currently 33 BeiDou satellites in orbit, but only six are active. The system will need 24 active satellites for a global coverage. The Chinese government said that it plans to have 5 geostationary orbit satellites and 30 non-geostationary orbit satellites operational by 2020, including performance enhancing devices.

According to Chinese officials, BeiDou has been developed to "maintain independence and keep the initiative in [China's] hands, keep open, compatible, stable and reliable on technology, offer global service, thereby accelerating the foundation of navigation satellite industrial chain, consummating  the sustaining extending and guaranteeing system, expanding the range of application in the country's economic and social sector." Like GPS, BeiDou has been used by the military prior to its opening to the public.

China said that BeiDou currently provide positioning services to "most parts" of the Asia-Pacific region, "including continuous passive positioning, navigation and timing services."

 

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    fearless1333 , December 30, 2012 12:41 AM
    How can you people blame/talk badly on China for coming up with a GPS competitor? Yes it's for military use mainly but it's the logical step forward. America would do the same thing in China's place.
  • 13 Hide
    mman74 , December 30, 2012 12:19 AM
    There is no need for another competing GPS for civilian use. This is clearly for use by it's military, which requires more accurate positioning than the US are willing to release.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , December 30, 2012 12:18 AM
    umm...so we can track all the communist dissidents through cell phones etc
  • Display all 33 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    mman74 , December 30, 2012 12:19 AM
    There is no need for another competing GPS for civilian use. This is clearly for use by it's military, which requires more accurate positioning than the US are willing to release.
  • 1 Hide
    acadia11 , December 30, 2012 12:20 AM
    Ahhh ... so Josh Whedon was right. First a carrier and now satellites?
  • -7 Hide
    acadia11 , December 30, 2012 12:21 AM
    euanteouhtnaeuohnumm...so we can track all the communist dissidents through cell phones etc


    Clearly you are clueless about the way the world is going. You think the government sees it's own people as the issue, LOL!?! Those days are past and done buddy.
  • 5 Hide
    mman74 , December 30, 2012 12:29 AM
    acadia11Ahhh ... so Josh Whedon was right. First a carrier and now satellites?


    Who's Josh Whedon?
  • 19 Hide
    fearless1333 , December 30, 2012 12:41 AM
    How can you people blame/talk badly on China for coming up with a GPS competitor? Yes it's for military use mainly but it's the logical step forward. America would do the same thing in China's place.
  • -8 Hide
    fearless1333 , December 30, 2012 12:43 AM
    How can you people blame/talk badly on China for coming up with a GPS competitor? Yes it's for military use mainly but it's the logical step forward. America would do the same thing in China's place.
  • -2 Hide
    wdmfiber , December 30, 2012 12:58 AM
    The Russian GLONASS system is global(as of late 2011). There is no need for a 3rd system. It's just a waste of resources and increases orbiting debris.
  • 9 Hide
    fnh , December 30, 2012 2:27 AM
    Sure, add the Europeans to the blame list for their Galileo GNSS too.
  • -2 Hide
    spockv , December 30, 2012 5:06 AM
    There would be no need for a 2nd GPS system if human being could work together instead of against each other. There is a clear reason for everyone to have one's own GPS system. More will come (N. Korea, Japan, Iran, Black, White, Yellow, Coconut, Bananas, Christian, Muslim, Gay....). Competition is good for consumers. There is no need to be scared.
  • 2 Hide
    groveborn , December 30, 2012 5:51 AM
    Imagine if a device went ahead and used more than one system. Maybe we can do better than 10 meters.
  • 4 Hide
    fuzzion , December 30, 2012 7:47 AM
    These are all surveillance satellites.
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , December 30, 2012 8:09 AM
    This is just one of GPS, GLONASS, QZSS, GALILEO, WAAS, EGNOS and finally COMPASS. It's only 3 meter accuracy because thats the limit of un augmented GNSS positions. However, using a base station, you can use any civilian GPS signal to give you 3cm accuracy.

    This system is obviously for military independence, however, it provides benefits to civilians by increasing the SV signals and lowering things such as PDOP and initialisation times.
  • 3 Hide
    shahrooz , December 30, 2012 8:44 AM
    spockvThere would be no need for a 2nd GPS system if human being could work together instead of against each other. There is a clear reason for everyone to have one's own GPS system. More will come (N. Korea, Japan, Iran, Black, White, Yellow, Coconut, Bananas, Christian, Muslim, Gay....). Competition is good for consumers. There is no need to be scared.

    as far as I know it's the 4th system not the 2nd.
  • 2 Hide
    digiex , December 30, 2012 11:26 AM
    This is more of a propaganda, China is trying so hard to surpass the US technologically, even to the extent of shortcuts like industrial espionage, technology company acquisitions.
  • -1 Hide
    fuzzion , December 30, 2012 11:41 AM
    digiexThis is more of a propaganda, China is trying so hard to surpass the US technologically, even to the extent of shortcuts like industrial espionage, technology company acquisitions.


    Bingo. Did you know China has the world largest cyber warfare team ever assembled?

    WW3 wouldnt be nukes. It will a cyber warfare with EMP bombs that already exist.
  • -5 Hide
    kellybean , December 30, 2012 12:08 PM
    They are getting ready for war, this is so when they take our our GPS they still have one to use against us. Never trust a commie or a liberal, basically the same thing.
  • 1 Hide
    icepick314 , December 30, 2012 12:13 PM
    any bets on when those Chinese sats fall to Earth?
  • 4 Hide
    manofchalk , December 30, 2012 12:21 PM
    Wow, thats a lot of scare-mongering in the comments.
    Why not that this is just a completely innocent revenue source for the Chinese government? As the world becomes more globalized there will be a greater need for communication infrastructure and China has decided to get in on it.
    True that its first use was for military purposes, so was the Internet and half the electronics you use today.
  • 3 Hide
    rantoc , December 30, 2012 1:04 PM
    kellybeanThey are getting ready for war, this is so when they take our our GPS they still have one to use against us. Never trust a commie or a liberal, basically the same thing.


    It is the next logical step, sides turned US would have done exactly the same thing. Ensuring the supply of the service rather than have it from someone else who have an off switch...
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