China will showcase its home-made satellite navigation system, Beidou, as military contingents and high profile dignitaries and including heads of state and arrive in Beijing for the 70 year anniversary of Victory Day, Xinhua reported.
Chinese troops had won the war against the Japanese 70 years ago during World War II. To mark the anniversary, a parade is being organised in Beijing this week which will see military contingents from 15 coutnries participating and high profile visitors from 30 countries.
The parade itself will be facilitated by the Beidou system from space, marking its first deployment for a military parade.
When China held its last military parade for the 60th National Day in 2009, Beidou only had three satellites operating. But for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on September 3, Beidou will be aided by 20 satellites.
Yang Hui, Beidou chief designer, hopes that supervision of the parade will be easier and more efficient owing to the new navigation system.
Wang Shun, Deputy Chief of Staff of Beijing military district at a recent news conference said the parade rehearsals employed Beidou’s high-precision positioning and measuring technology.
These technologies have greatly improved the quality and efficiency of the rehearsals,” claimed Hui.
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Unlike US’ Global Positioning System (GPS), Beidou users can report their positions. This special feature was the result of a lack of funds during development of Beidou’s first generation system.
Positioning and navigation required two satellites and computation by the ground station. A user needed to send a position request to the ground station through the satellites to know their location. As a result, the ground station can also locate the user, while GPS cannot. The merit of GPS is keeping your position a secret,” Hui says.
Today, users of the second generation of Beidou navigation system can choose whether to keep their position a secret. The function of reporting a user’s position has assisted the military parade organisation.
The parade will comprise about 12,000 people in 50 formations.
It’s impossible to coordinate the parade solely with spoken orders. However, if everyone is equipped with a Beidou navigator, their position can be projected onto a screen for the commanders to see and guide.”
China began to build the Beidou satellite navigation system in 1994, two decades after the United States developed GPS.
The construction of the Beidou satellite navigation system has a three-step strategy”: first the building of the experimental navigation satellite system by 2000 second the building of the regional navigation system by 2012 and third enabling the system to cover every corner of the globe by 2020.
China has achieved the first two steps, becoming the third country to have an independent satellite navigation and positioning system after the US and Russia.
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The 18th and 19th Beidou satellites, launched on July 25, have set up an inter-satellite link, realising communication and distance measurement among satellites. The two new satellites surpass their predecessors in speed, accuracy and weight. They also have intelligent autonomous operation.
Its use now extends to industries such as transport, marine fisheries, weather forecasting, hydrological monitoring, surveying and mapping, as well as to smart phones and car navigation.
Beidou satellite navigation has also has been introduced into countries, including Laos, Brunei and Pakistan.
The article originally appeared on Xinhua News
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