China’s BeiDou Nav Satellite System to Cover the World in 2020

[Reprinted with permission NAVIBIZ, Issue Date: 2010-6-7]

China is building up its global satellite navigation system BeiDou (COMPASS) that is intended to cover the world by 2020. That’s the word from the country’s first Satellite Navigation Conference, in Beijing. Developed and operated by China, BeiDou is designed to provide accurate real-time military and civil service to national security, social and economic development.

[Reprinted with permission NAVIBIZ, Issue Date: 2010-6-7]

China is building up its global satellite navigation system BeiDou (COMPASS) that is intended to cover the world by 2020. That’s the word from the country’s first Satellite Navigation Conference, in Beijing. Developed and operated by China, BeiDou is designed to provide accurate real-time military and civil service to national security, social and economic development.

Sun Jiadong, chief designer, Beidou Project, said, "With an increasing number of navigation satellites in orbit, the system will provide high-quality service. And more and more fields will benefit much from the Beidou Satellite Navigation System. It has become an indispensable space facility for mankind."

The Beidou Project now covers the whole of China and surrounding areas. Global coverage is expected by 2020, enabling service to clients from all over the world.

China is the third country with an independent satellite navigation system, following the US and Russia.
Qi Faren, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, introduced that China was developing the global satellite navigation system on its own following a "three-step" development strategy.

Firstly, a small number of satellites in the geosynchronous orbit were involved to conduct experiments, so as to accumulate experience and expertise, cultivate talents and develop ground infrastructure equipment for the construction of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. Secondly, the Beidou Navigation Satellite System covering China and the neighboring areas is to be built up by 2012. Thirdly, the global navigation satellite system consisting of 5 geostationary satellites and 30 non-geostationary satellites is to be built up by 2020 to ensure global coverage.

With the successful application of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite Experiment System which was completed in 2000 and put into operation in a multiple of fields of national economic construction and national security, the work for "step 1" has been accomplished. Currently, the development of the BeiDou System is at the crucial stage of "step 2".

Comment: Economists forecast China’s GDP will surpass the United States in 2020. At that time, users that have been accustomed to the U.S. GPS system will have a new choice: China’s BeiDou (COMPASS) Navigation Satellite System. When that day comes, I do not know whether people in the U.S. and China can immediately adapt to the new world situation and the industry pattern. I believe General Motors has felt this more quickly, because after 2010, China will replace the U.S. to be the world’s largest market for GM. In the next 10 years, the changes in China will continue to shock the American people. NaviForum Shanghai 2010 event will focus on the Chinese Compass system.