US, China cooperate on interoperability for better civilian service

December 4, 2017  - By

The United States and China have negotiated compatible signal characteristics that will both protect and enhance service for users of the U.S. GPS and Chinese BeiDou constellations.

The achievement resulted from several years of discussions between U.S. and Chinese GNSS experts. The consensus to make the systems compatible and interoperable at the user level will mean better service for users of both systems worldwide.

The U.S.Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Office of Space and Advanced Technology represents the United States in the ongoing U.S.-China GNSS Cooperation Dialogue, which began in May 2014 and covers various topics.

Compatibility of the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) with GPS has been a core focus of the discussions. The U.S.-China Joint Statement on signal compatibility and interoperability is below and on the website.

Joint Statement on Civil Signal Compatibility and Interoperability Between the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS)

December 4, 2017

In May 2014, China Satellite Navigation Office and the Office of Space and Advanced Technology, U.S. Department of State, jointly established the U.S.-China Civil GNSS Cooperation Dialogue, a bilateral government-to-government mechanism to promote cooperation between the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

Over the past three years, representatives and experts from both sides have studied and discussed various topics related to civil service provision and user applications, among which BDS compatibility and civil interoperability with GPS is one of the core focus areas.

Both sides have carried out extensive in-depth analysis, and have engaged in persistent discussion and coordination.

As a result, the two sides have reached the following consensus conclusions regarding compatibility and interoperability between GPS and BDS:

  1. Consistent with the bilateral frequency compatibility coordination completed in 2010, GPS and BDS are radio frequency compatible under the framework of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); and
  2. The GPS L1C and BDS B1C civil signals, using two different types of multiplexed binary offset carrier (MBOC) waveforms are interoperable, which means users can receive better service by jointly using these civil signals without a significant increase in receiver cost or complexity.

Both sides agree to continue their consultations and cooperation related to compatibility and interoperability in order to provide better services for global users.

(signed by)

Ran Chengqi, China Satellite Navigation Office

David A. Turner, Office of Space and Advanced Technology, U.S. Department of State

For more information, contact Follow the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs on Twitter at @StateDeptOES.

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.