Wednesday, 28 December 2011

China launches its own GPS network

In an attempt to break out of U.S dominance, China has said that their own GPS navigation network called Beidou is ready. According to the BBC, China has been working on their navigation system, since 2000 as an alternative to the U.S-run GPS system. This should now make the country less dependent on foreign technology. Beidou, in Chinese means 'compass'. The GPS network will allow China to have a GPS system, even when the country is in military conflict with the United States (wherein, the U.S could turn their GPS off for China). Civilians will have geolocation accuracy of 10 meters and speed measurements accurate to .2 meters per second, while the military will have access to more accurate data. Beidou uses 10 satellites and is open to people in the mainland China area and nearby areas of Asia. The Chinese government plans on full coverage by 2020.
China's planning its own
China's launched its own

China isn't the only country to have been developing an alternative to U.S based, GPS. The European Union is working on their own GPS system, entitled Galileo. The European Space agency says that the Galileo GPS network should be completed by 2019. The U.S, meanwhile, with military developer Lockheed Martin, is working on improvements to their own GPS. Their GPS was used by the military for 20 years, before being opened up to civilians. The military also enjoys more accuracy than civilians.

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