China Uses New Data System for Health Check of BeiDou Spacecraft

China’s Xi’an Satellite Control Center recently completed a health check of more than 10 BeiDou-2 navigation satellites using a data system that slashed the analysis time from 10 hours to five minutes.

The Center has been performing the satellite health assessments and drawing radar maps for all the orbiting BeiDou satellites since the end of 2018, according to the Xinhua News Agency. The overall goal is to support maintenance of the constellation and raise management capacity.

The BeiDou constellation started service in 2000 with the BDS-1 satellites and now comprises nearly 40 satellites including 21 of the new BDS-3 spacecraft, according to reports by Xinhua. With a total of 10 satellites set for launch in 2019,

the constellation is expected to be completed next year.

Related Reading: Latest Satellite Launch Expands BeiDou Constellation

The data service system used for the health check was internally developed, Xinhua said. The system improves the efficiency of data analysis, laying a foundation for system diagnosis and prediction as well as enabling the health checks of on-orbit hardware.

The Xi’an Satellite Control Center is based in northwest China’s city of Xi’an and is the country’s only modern satellite control center. The facility handles regular satellite measurement and control as well as long-term management of in-orbit spacecraft.