China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

What is the news?

  • China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), touted as a rival to the widely-used American GPS, has started providing global services.
  • Pakistan became the first country to use the BeiDou systemending its reliance on the Global Positioning System (GPS) of America.

About BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

  • BeiDou was named after the Chinese term for the ‘Big Dipper’.
  • It has started serving China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.
  • BeiDou has two separate constellations, BeiDou-1 and BeiDou-2.
  • BeiDou-1 also known as first generation was a constellation of three satellites.
  • BeiDou-2, also known as COMPASS, is the second generation of the system.
  • It became operational in the year 2011.

Accuracy of BeiDou

  • The positioning accuracy of the system has reached 10 metres globally and five metres in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Its velocity accuracy is 0.2 metres per second, while its timing accuracy stands at 20 nanoseconds.

Other Navigation Satellites Systems of the world

  • US’s GPS,
  • Russia’s GLONASS and the
  • European Union’s Galileo

are the current Global Navigation Satellite Systems. With the launch of BeiDou, it will be the fourth global satellite navigation system.

Regional Navigation Satellite Systems

There are two regional Navigation Satellite Systems

  • QZSS (Japan) and
  • IRNSS or NavIC (India).

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