The Chinese GPS System BeiDou is now complete.

Chinese GPS

The new Chinese GPS system is known in English as the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.

BeiDou, The Big Dipper – The Chinese GPS System

BeiDou is named after the star asterism The Big Dipper, which in Chinese is Běidǒu

The US Monopoly

The United States (US) has for decades has had a monopoly on GPS positioning, navigation and time based interval technology with its GPS (Global Positioning System) commonly known as NAVSTAR, a multitude of 24 satellites which is run by the US military that still today provides the main framework for location on a vast majority of devices around the globe.

gps satellites in orbit navstar
GPS satellites in orbit.

GPS is essential to the economy

These technologies have become essential to the modern economies; it is not just a tool for the US military and their maneuvers like it once was.

Many governments around the globe have looked towards breaking the reliance on the US GPS system by creating their own constellation of satellites.

Governments such as those in Russia (GLONASS), the UK (GNSS), India (NavIC), China (BeiDou), Japan (QZSS) and the European Union (Galileo).

Reliance on US NAVSTAR

Some of these GPS systems do still rely on the US NAVSTAR GPS system, and have only a few satellites to supplement & increase the systems accuracy, as well as improve coverage.

beidou-chinese-gps-system

BeiDou – The Chinese GPS System Investment

BeiDou is the investment into GPS that China has made. A completely independent satellite system which has been in the making for 20 years

For the duration of 20 years, China has launched close to 36 satellites costing a staggering $12 billion US dollars.

Chinese handset manufacturers have known about this for some years, with ample opportunity to develop their products around this new GPS system.

Currently, close to 70% of all Chinese mobile phones are able to process BeiDou GPS signals from the satellites, and there is plans to allow a GPS tracker for car to use them also.

According to the People’s Daily, as of Tuesday morning, June 23, 2020, the last BeiDou satellite in the constellation was launched into Earths orbit.

The Chinese GPS Plan

The BeiDou GPS system in it’s current form is now completed, which brings forward to Beijing new flexibility and strength for this technology which has become so critical.

Ultimately, GPS technologies are not always a game of rivalry — additional satellites, regardless of who they are launched by, can offer other GPS systems additional redundancy to all that use them. The real winners here are the handset manufacturers which now have greater options.

GPS Spoofing

Earlier in 2020, the administration of Trump introduced an order that would enforce agencies of the government to develop anti-spoofing GPS measures, protecting GPS systems from hackers, which could cause severe data breaches & even loss.

Conclusion

Given the amount of worldwide logistics and our day by day lives are constrained by these advancements, further global collaboration around ensuring these essential resources appears to be vital.

Since China now has its own completely working Chinese GPS system, they have the motivation to secure their infrastructure as much as the United States does, in order to keep on providing GPS to the highest expectations of dependability.

Richard Grech

Richard Grech

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