China’s BeiDou navigation satellite, rival to US GPS, starts global services

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Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

Mains level: Particulars of the Chinese navigation system


News

  • China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), touted as a rival to the widely-used American GPS, has started providing global services.

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS)

  1. Named after the Chinese term for the ‘Big Dipper’, the BeiDou system started serving China in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific region in 2012.
  2. It will be the fourth global satellite navigation system after the US GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.
  3. The positioning accuracy of the system has reached 10 metres globally and five metres in the Asia-Pacific region.
  4. Its velocity accuracy is 0.2 metres per second, while its timing accuracy stands at 20 nanoseconds, he said.
  5. Pakistan has become the first country to use the BeiDou system ending its reliance on the Global Positioning System (GPS).

What makes its special?

  1. The total number of satellite navigation patent applications in China has reached 54,000, ranking first in the world.
  2. More than 14,000 companies and organisations are doing business related to BDS, employing over 500,000 people.
  3. In China, about 6.17 million vehicles, 35,600 postal and express delivery vehicles, as well as 80,000 buses in 36 major cities, use BDS. T
  4. The system is also used in 3,230 inland river navigation facilities and 2,960 marine navigation facilities.
International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries
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