China to build global navigation system to compete with US GPS
The first batch of 18 satellites will be launched before 2018 to cover countries along the routes in "the Belt and Road" (Silk Road) initiative, Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office said, addressing the China Satellite Navigation Conference.
After having built a regional functional navigation system by 2012, the accuracy and stability of the Beidou system must be improved, said Ran, adding international cooperation will also help the nascent navigation system. Aside from announcing satellite navigation cooperation with the US, China and Russia have agreed to make the Beidou and Glonass satellite navigation systems compatible with each other, he said.
He added that Beidou also successfully synchronised its frequency with the Galileo navigation system operated by the European Union, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Ran said China will detail the development ideas and proposals of the Beidou system in a white paper, which is expected to be released soon.
The white paper also elaborates on how Beidou will work with the International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Maritime Organisation to bring benefits to the world, Ran said. "To let the whole world know about Beidou, understand Beidou and use Beidou, we still have much technical and coordination work to do," he said.