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. China-Made Satellite Navigation System To Support Olympic Games

China had primarily constructed the experimental satellite navigation web by May 2003, via launching three Beidou satellites into space. In February and April 2007, another two satellites were separately sent into orbit. The cluster of five Beidou satellites are comprised of the main infrastructure of the Chinese satellite navigation network.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Dec 07, 2007
A leading engineer for China's indigenous satellite navigation system said the new system would be used in guiding traffic and monitoring sports venues during the Beijing Olympics in summer 2008. Ran Chengqi, deputy director of China Satellite Navigation Engineering Center, said the Compass Navigation Satellite System, which consists of five positioning satellites orbiting the Earth, will help alleviate traffic problems during the Olympics by providing detailed positioning information to individual drivers.

The home-grown navigation system, coded as Beidou in the Chinese pronunciation for the compass, can not only pinpoint precise locations of moving vehicles, but also tell drivers real-time traffic on routes to their destinations, Ran said at an international navigation industry forum in Shanghai.

In working for the Olympics, Ran said, the Beidou system would be compatible to the prevailing global positioning system (GPS), which was developed by the U.S. military and is now in pervasive civilian use worldwide.

China had primarily constructed the experimental satellite navigation web by May 2003, via launching three Beidou satellites into space. In February and April 2007, another two satellites were separately sent into orbit. The cluster of five Beidou satellites are comprised of the main infrastructure of the Chinese satellite navigation network.

China is going to launch more navigation satellites in 2008, the Shanghai-based Wenhui Daily quoted Ran as saying.

Besides the specific employment for the Beijing Olympics, Ran said, the Beidou system would also benefit wider applications from transportation, fishery, mining, to wildfire surveillance, Ran said.

In addition to the GPS and GLONASS, which was funded and constructed by the Russian military, the European Union invested in 2003 roughly 3.6 billion euros in developing an ambitious project, Galileo, which is planned to group 30 navigation satellites. The Galileo project does not run smoothly because of fund shortage.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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