Directions 2015: BeiDou Belongs to China, and to the World

December 1, 2014  - By
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GPS-directions-WangBy Li Wang, Director of the International Cooperation Center, China Satellite Navigation Office

By adhering to the principles of independence, openness, compatibility, and gradualness, China is steadily accelerating the construction and development of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

The BeiDou System already provides continuous and reliable Full Operational Services to most parts of the Asia-Pacific region. Its positioning, navigation, and timing performance keeps improving, while the deployment for a global constellation is also making progress. The BeiDou System and its products, which are compatible with other navigation satellite systems, have been gradually applied in many sectors and industries related to the national economy and to entering the mass market.

As one of the four core GNSS service providers, BeiDou has always made unswerving efforts to exchange, coordinate, and cooperate with other organizations, system providers, and users.

BeiDou has been actively engaged in international affairs on the platform of the United Nations, such as participation in related activities held by the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), and coordinated affairs under the framework of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It has also pushed forward the integrated applications of BeiDou and other navigation satellite systems in the fields of civil aviation, maritime traffic, mobile communication, and so on.

In order to provide better services for global users, the BeiDou system has carried out exchanges and coordination with the other navigation satellite systems. It has established cooperative mechanisms with GPS and GLONASS, and respectively signed the Joint Statement of U.S.-China Civil Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) Cooperation, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding between China and Russia on Cooperation in the Field of Satellite Navigation. Furthermore, the cooperation between the BeiDou and Galileo systems has also been included into the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation.

Potential areas for cooperation may include compatibility and interoperability, GNSS applications, policies and standards, international GNSS service performance monitoring and assessment, and so on.

Meanwhile, the BeiDou System continues carrying out the BeiDou/GNSS Application Demonstration & Experience Campaign (BADEC) and has negotiated with related countries to jointly establish BeiDou/GNSS Centers. Those centers will implement BeiDou/GNSS popularization, exhibition, application demonstration, and user experience activities, as well as system performance testing and assessment, academic exchanges, training, and R&D, to jointly promote the compatibility and interoperability among the multiple navigation satellite systems, boost the spread of technologies, and improve satellite navigation applications and industrial development..

In 2015, China will continue this effort, launching four to five next-generation BeiDou Navigation Satellites (MEO and IGSO) for testing and verification of new technologies. The BeiDou System with global coverage will completely be established by around 2020. This will enable provision of continuous, stable, and reliable satellite navigation services for global users.

Global navigation satellite systems and related industries are going through an unprecedented revolution. Under such an environment, compatibility and interoperability among systems, and integration of multiple industries, will be the tendencies of future, which will definitely promote wide applications of GNSS in broadening fields. During such a process, the BeiDou System with distinctive characteristics will abide by the objective of “serve the world and benefit mankind,” undertaking the responsibility and obligation to work together with other systems to provide better services for global users.


Li Wang is the director of the International Cooperation Center, China Satellite Navigation Office.

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