Galileo global satellite navigation system of European Union

Published: November 2, 2018

Recently, China has successfully launched its first geostationary BeiDou-3 satellite ‘G1Q’ into high orbit (about 36,000 km above the Earth) to boost its home-grown BeiDou global satellite navigation system. It was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwestern Sichuan Province. In a geostationary orbit, following the Earth’s rotation, it will view the same point on Earth continuously. The satellite is meant to serve countries in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Apart from radio navigation system, the satellite is equipped with an improved radio determination satellite service that can provide short message services to 10 million subscribers each hour. With an advanced satellite-based augmentation system, the satellite can also provide low-cost and reliable navigation services to civil aviation clients at home and abroad. The satellite is carrying hydrogen and rubidium atomic clocks, which will play a key role in positioning and timing accuracy. It will be the fourth global satellite navigation system after the United States (US) Global Position System (GPS), Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo. By around 2020, when the BeiDou system goes global, it will have more than 30 satellites.

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