China’s BeiDou satellite positioning system BDS became fully operational.
“This signifies that BDS has officially entered the global era as the BDS expands from a regional system to a global navigation system,” said BeiDou’s Ran Chenqi at the launch event, “from now on, no matter where you go, BDS will always be with you.”
BeiDou joins fellow constellations GPS, Glonass and Galileo.
BeiDou was originally slated to be fully operationsl in 2020, but the date was brought forward.
The constellation’s first satellite launched in 2000. A positioning service in Asia-Pacific began in 2012.
BeiDou deliver accuracy down to five metres in Asia-Pacific and ten metres elsewhere.
Its velocity accuracy is 0.2 metres per second, its timing accuracy is 20 nanoseconds.
BeiDou has 33 satellites – 15 BDS-2 satellites and 18 BDS-3 satellites.
Another twelve satellites, which will improve accuracy, are scheduled to be launched.
The next country to get a satellite navigation system is expected to be India which is building the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), dubbed NAVIC.