Reporter Journal / Chen Weihua

China, US join hands in sat-nav

By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily USA) Updated: 2017-12-05 11:31

Cooperation between China and the United States in their global navigation satellite systems will bring better service for users in the world, the US State Department said on Monday.

Compatible signal characteristics negotiated between the two countries "will both protect and enhance" service from users of the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Beidou, the equivalent Chinese system, the department said in a press release.

"The achievement resulted from several years of discussions between US and Chinese experts in global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). The consensus to make the systems compatible and interoperable at the user level will mean better service for users of both systems worldwide," according to the department.

The China Satellite Navigation Office and the Office of Space and Advanced Technology under the US State Department in May 2014 jointly established the China-US Civil GNSS Cooperation Dialogue, a bilateral government-to-government mechanism to promote cooperation between the US GPS and the Chinese Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

Over the past three years, representatives and experts from both sides have studied and discussed various topics related to civil service provision and user applications, among which BDS compatibility and civil interoperability with GPS is one of the core focus areas, according to a China-US joint statement from the State Department.

"Both sides have carried out extensive in-depth analysis, and have engaged in persistent discussion and coordination," the statement said.

With several consensus conclusions regarding compatibility and interoperability between GPS and BDS, the two sides agree to continue their consultations and cooperation related to compatibility and interoperability in order to provide better services for global users, according to the statement.

China's Ministry of Transport announced on Nov 23 that BDS has been included in a global network that collects and distributes data for search and rescue missions.

Beidou will be part of the International Cospas-SarsatProgramme, a nonprofit, intergovernmental and humanitarian cooperative with 44 members, including the US, Canada, Russia and China.

The inclusion comes after a ministry delegation submitted the Chinese system's technology and launch plan for search and rescue to the program during the 31st Cospas-Sarsat Council meeting in late October in Montreal.

"The move will enhance Beidou's global capability to search for and rescue people in distress, showing China has carried out its responsibilities in global humanitarianism in accordance with international conventions," said Wu Chungeng, a ministry spokesman.

"It also supports Beidou's global development, promoting the system's international influence and power in the field of satellite navigation," he said.

Beidou is the world's fourth navigation satellite system, following US-based GPS, Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo.

Twenty-nine satellites have been launched for the Beidou network, the first in 2000 and the most recent in November. The system began providing positioning, navigation, timing and messaging services to civilian users in China and parts of the Asia-Pacific region in December 2012.

Luo Wangshu and Zhao Lei contributed to this story.


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