Beidou navigation system gives boost to battle against terrorism in Xinjiang

Updated: 2014-09-05 08:40

By Gao Bo in Urumqi(China Daily)

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China's Beidou Navigation Satellite System is aiding the fight against terrorism in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, a senior scientist said.

At the two-day China Beidou Applications Summit, which ended on Wednesday, Tan Shusen, the program's deputy chief designer, said Beidou has greatly improved communication among officers and enhanced their ability to locate targets.

The region has been hit by a number of terrorist attacks this year.

The Beidou system began providing free navigation services within China in 2011 and expanded them to the Asia-Pacific region in 2012. The system is comparable to three other global satellite navigation systems: Russia's Global Navigation Satellite System, the US' GPS and the EU's Galileo system. Beidou sets itself apart by enabling users to send their location to other users, Tan said.

Using Beidou, anti-terrorism officers can communicate with each other using their mobile phones equipped with Beidou's services, instead of using special communication equipment to broadcast their locations, he said.

The designer said Beidou's advantages also lie in its accuracy.

For officers, " Beidou's time services are also helpful. In the future, more functions will be offered to officers," he added.

Beidou has also played an important role in China's transport sector, said Ministry of Transport inspector Yu Shengying .

The transport industry was the first civil user of the Beidou system, and nearly 300,000 sets of navigation devices have been installed on transport vehicles, enabling the authority to establish a vehicle monitoring and service system, Yu said.

Users from neighboring countries said they have found Beidou useful. Syed Zahid Jamal, manager of Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, said the Beidou system has been well-received in his country.

"In the past, only GPS was available in my country. Now we can use Beidou, and I find its best service is the satellite positioning, besides the mapping and survey services," Jamal said.

By 2020, the Beidou system will provide free positioning and navigation services to customers around the world, said Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, in June.

GNSS and LBS Association of China, a nonprofit organization in global navigation satellite system services, estimated last year that China's satellite positioning and navigation application industry will generate an annual output value of more than 400 billion yuan by 2020.

(China Daily 09/05/2014 page5)