China’s BeiDou-3 Satellite Network Up and Running, State Officials Confirm
The first eight of 35 planned BeiDou-3 satellites have formed a functioning network, as first reported by Maritime Executive, and have a global positioning accuracy of five meters, according to BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, China’s state-owned satellite company. Around 35 satellites are intended to provide global services upon completion in 2020, while China this year aims to launch 10 more BeiDou-3 Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites and a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite. The global navigation satellite constellation includes GPS (U.S.), Glonass (Russia), Galileo (Europe) and China’s BeiDou, including BeiDou-2. The BeiDou-3 will also provide remote sensing, internet, big data and cloud computing services in the future.
In related news, China intends to launch two backup satellites for BeiDou-2 within the next two years, according to the Xinhua News Agency. Intended to improve performance, the satellites will ensure continuous operations of the system. BeiDou-2 uses 14 navigation satellites, offering positioning, timing and SMS services in the Asia-Pacific region.