BeiDou satellite navigation: All systems are go

A status check of 52 in-orbit BDS-3 has been completed and six documents detailing technical requirements and test methods for key, or basic, civilian products have been published.

China’s Xi’an Satellite Control Center has completed a status check of 52 in-orbit BeiDou navigation satellites ahead of the Spring Festival holiday that begins on Friday, the center said today.

This is the center’s first comprehensive operational examination of all BeiDou satellites since the completion of the BDS-3 system for global users. With the help of a self-developed satellite operational assessment system, the staff at the center analyzed key data of the satellites from July 1 to December 31, 2020.

“Any satellite malfunction may affect the navigation accuracy. Only by keeping the satellite in good working condition at all times can we assure they serve our daily life,” said Lu Pengliang, an engineer with the center.

Since it was put into service on July 31, 2020, the BDS-3 system has provided services for global users and many industries, including transportation, agriculture and fishery.

The longest-serving satellite is the GEO-1 satellite of the BDS-2 system, which was launched on January 17, 2010. “Customized self-examination and diagnosis programs have enabled the BeiDou satellite to remain in service for three more years, despite its eight-year design life,” said senior engineer Luo Chunyan.

During the week-long Spring Festival, the center will continue to carry out real-time monitoring of BeiDou satellites.

Six documents detailing technical requirements and test methods for key, or basic, civilian products using the BDS-3 system have been published.

The documents have been issued to facilitate the construction of a certification system for key BDS-3 products, according to the China Satellite Navigation Office.

Technical requirements and test methods were drafted for chip, integrated chip, antenna, receiver board and navigation module products, as well as other key BDS-3 products that are used in civilian applications.

Prior to the publication of these technical requirements and test methods, China issued four national technical standards for data formatting, map application, the ground-based augmentation system and the BDS atomic clock.

China has built a complete BDS industrial chain with independently developed key products.

That extends the application of BDS to various fields of economic and social development, according to the China Satellite Navigation Office.

BDS has provided comprehensive services for sectors such as transport, public security, disaster relief, agriculture, forestry and urban governance, read a report released by the office in 2020.

Special Reports