China aims to make BeiDou application best among peers
Published: Aug 03, 2020 07:38 PM

A Long March-3B carrier rocket with a Yuanzheng-1 upper stage takes off Monday afternoon from Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, carrying the 52nd and 53rd satellites for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, or BDS. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

China aims to make the application of the BeiDou Satellite Navigation System (BDS) the best among all other navigation systems, and be more inclusive to provide value-added services including short messaging, satellite based augmentation and international search-and-rescue services, the spokesperson of BDS and director general of China Satellite Navigation Office Ran Chengqi said Monday. 

So far, BDS has been applied in industries such as transportation, public security, disaster relief, farming and urban governance, as well as being integrated into China's key basic infrastructure construction including electricity, finance and telecom, Ran said at a press briefing Monday in Beijing.

In particular, BDS-based high-precision applications played a positive role in China's fights against COVID-19 and the recent flooding in southern China. BDS has been applied in China-Europe freight train transportation, the construction and operation of high-speed trains between Beijing and Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province as well as civil aviation, Ran said. 

"We will further promote the integration of BDS with newly emerging technologies, such as 5G, mobile communication, big data and the mobile internet, which will create new economic growth points," Ran said.

Chinese leaders launched the full global service of the BeiDou-3 on Friday. BDS is China's largest space-based system and one of four global navigation networks, alongside the US' GPS, Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo.

BeiDou is able to tell others where the user is located, a strong advantage compared with GPS, Huang Haihui, vice president of the UniStrong Science & Technology Co, told the Global Times Monday.

This application is particularly useful in search and rescue missions that can return a feedback to the people calling for help, Huang cited the example of obtaining the location of oceangoing vessels when they are in distress.

"This is China's own system meaning it's independently controllable, so there is no need to worry about the navigation usage in some special areas such as national defense," he noted. 

Ran said that more than 500 types of equipment components have been made in China and the domestic production rate of the BDS-3's key components is 100 percent.

BDS' global positioning accuracy is better than 10 meters, with a timing accuracy better than 20 nanoseconds, and its performance in the Asia-Pacific region is even better.

Both satellite distribution and the number of BeiDou satellites gives it an advantage in accuracy, stability, reliability and usability, Huang said, adding that wider applications for BeiDou could be in precision farming and autonomous driving at port wharfs.

The output of China's satellite navigation and location-based services industry has been growing more than 20 percent annually on average, reaching 345 billion yuan ($49.47 billion) in 2019, and is expected to exceed 400 billion yuan in 2020, Ran said.

BDS and navigation-relate shares surged on Monday, with UniStrong and BDStar Navigation gaining by the daily 10 percent limit.