China launches new GEO BeiDou satellite

April 22, 2019  - By

China launched another BeiDou satellite into space from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 10:41 p.m. April 20, according to Xinhua.

The inclined geosynchronous Earth orbit (IGEO) satellite was launched on a Long March-3B carrier rocket. It is the 44th satellite of the BDS satellite family and the first BDS-3 satellite in inclined geosynchronous Earth orbit.

After in-orbit tests, the satellite will work with 18 other BDS-3 satellites in intermediate circular orbit and another IGEO satellite.

Yang Changfeng, chief designer of the BeiDou system, told Xinhua that the hybrid constellation design will increase the number of visible satellites in the Asia-Pacific region.

According to Yang, the positioning accuracy of the system has reached 10 meters globally and five meters in the Asia-Pacific Region after the system started to provide global service at the end of last year.

The BDS has been widely used around the world, such as in building construction in Kuwait, precision agriculture in Myanmar, land survey and mapping in Uganda and warehousing and logistics in Thailand.

About 8-10 BDS satellites are scheduled to be launched this year, wrapping up launch missions of all BDS-3 satellites in medium Earth orbit. The BDS-3 system is to be completed in 2020.

China is also planning to finish building a high-precision national comprehensive positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) system based on BeiDou by 2035.

Featured photo: Xinhuanet

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.