31 Dec '12, 2am

China takes Beidou public

China has opend up its satellite navigation constellation Beidou to use by the general public. Before that it was only usable by the military and the government. The Beidou constellation has six satellites, The Chinese claim it is accurate to 10m. The aim is to add another 34 satellites to the constellation over the next decade. Beidou, meaning Big Dipper, is the third satellite navigation tsystem to be opened to public use after the US GPS system which has 32 satellites and went operational in 1994, and the Russian Glonass constellation which has 23 statellites. The EU has been working on its own constellation but, bedevilled by budgetary issues, has so far only got up three working satellites. The rationale for having multiple systems is that the Americans could turn theirs off if it suited their national interest.

Full article: http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Articles/31/12/2012/5527...

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