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Newest BeiDou Satellites Begin Operating

August 14, 2015  - By
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Image: GPS World

The two BeiDou satellites launched July 25 are now operating autonomously, according to the news site English.news.cn. The satellites were launched by a Long March III-B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, southwest China. The twin satellites, dubbed BEIDOU-3 M1 and BEIDOU-3 M2, surpass their predecessors in speed, accuracy and weight, according to the news agency.

China has successfully tested the autonomous control technology of the Beidou constellation, said to Xie Jun, chief designer of Beidou navigation satellite system. “The biggest difficulty is the autonomous navigation technology,” Xie said. “We need it to maintain the sustainable development of the project.”

Wang Ping, another chief engineer on the project, says the inter-satellite link realizes communication and distance measurement among satellites, bringing autonomous control of the navigation system a step closer.

China plans to set up a complete constellation of 35 satellites, achieving global coverage by 2020.

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