Skip to comments.China Builds Its Own GPS Network
Posted on 06/23/2010 10:58:50 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
China recently launched the fourth of 35 Beidou ("Compass") navigation satellites. Within two years, it will have enough Beidou birds in orbit to provide GPS type service for all of China. By the end of the decade, all 35 satellites will be up, and the entire planet will have access to Beidou. It was two years ago that China decided to expand its Beidou satellite navigation system to cover the entire planet, like GPS, Galileo and Glonass. Think of the original Beidou system as GPS light. That version of Beidou (or Beidou 1) only covered East Asia, and not even all of China. But it covered the areas along the coast, and Taiwan. The Beidou 1 system was less accurate than GPS, slower, but it did allow two way traffic. This was useful for sending short messages (up to 120 Chinese characters so, about a hundred words). Sort of IM (Instant Messaging) class stuff. The system could only handle a few hundred thousand users, but that would have been sufficient for the number of Chinese troops involved in any major operation. Beidou 1 also suffered some reliability problems, and was apparently very vulnerable to jamming and spoofing. Because of all that, it was believed that Beidou 1 was just a first generation system. A training system, one where China learns the ins and outs of building satellite navigation systems. China has confirmed that with the admission that it is taking its experience and building a world-wide "Beidou 2" system over the next decade.
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So if I hit post once this time what happens? :)
It’s only fair...
China learns the ins and outs of building satellite Bill Clinton helped.
So that in time of war, they can knock out our GPS system and hobble our weapons. Simple.
It looks like that was the plan.
Not going to happen. A tit for tat exchange in low orbit would spread debris across the entirety of low orbit. That would have the unintended consequences of knocking out 90% of civilian COMSATs out there.
More likely, this system is going to serve as a kind of insurance policy. As long as Beidou provides GPS coverage in Eastern Asia, Chinese Missiles and PGMs are going to have pin-point accuracy in that area. No regional rival reliant upon American GPS would risk attacking China.
This is simply because the U.S military may well turn off or alter the signals of the commercial GPS frequencies in the middle of a shooting war.