Editor’s note: This article is from the micro-channel public number “six decades light years” (ID: jazzyear), Author: Liu Jingfeng, edit matches Q.36 krypton released with authorization.

At 9:43 on June 23, the last Beidou networking satellite was successfully launched at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
At this point, China’s self-developed satellite navigation system, which took 26 years, invested more than US$12 billion, and launched 59 satellites, was finally completed.
This means that China has its own global navigation and positioning system, which has completely ended the history of relying on GPS.
This also means that Beidou will launch a new wave of impact on the GPS navigation system that still occupies 90% of the market share of 1.2 trillion in the global satellite navigation industry.
It takes as much sweat as there are achievements.Looking back on the 26-year history of Beidou R&D and networking, there is frustration that the core equipment is stuck in the neck, there is the thrill of a 4-hour winning frequency battle, and there is also the pride of launching 18 stars a year after breaking the blockade.
The history of Beidou is condensed with the practical experience of Chinese science and technology still striving for independent innovation in the blockade environment.In this troubled autumn, Beidou’s past 26 years is an important reference for China’s new round of independent technological innovation.
1. Beidou No. 1 in “Double Star Positioning”
The birth of the navigation system originated from the needs of war.
In the early 1990s, the United States and other countries launched a Gulf War against Iraq.
This war was against traditional combat methods, and the United States sacrificed a large number of precision-guided weapons.As a result, the war ended in just over 40 days, and the US military won the war at the cost of 146 killed and 467 injured.In comparison, the number of casualties in the defeated Iraqi army reached 100,000.
Afterwards, in the final report of the war, the United States attributed the victory to a new technology—the United States began research and development and construction of GPS in 1973.
It is precisely through the positioning and navigation capabilities of GPS that precision-guided weapons can reach targets with extremely high hit rates, which avoids harming innocent people and greatly improves combat efficiency.
Since then, there has been a popular saying that anyone who can master the advantages of satellite navigation will have the initiative in war.
In fact, in addition to the positioning and navigation that everyone can think of, satellite navigation systems also have functions such as precise timing and speed measurement, which play an important role in many fields related to the safety of national economic production.For example, in the high-speed rail that people are accustomed to, the navigation system can locate and measure the speed of the train around the clock without relying on ground equipment, thereby avoiding train rear-end; in the power grid, power automation equipment and safety automatic protection equipment for power plants and substations, Intelligent equipment such as fault records need to operate synchronously, at this time the navigation satellite time service function is used; even the shared bicycles that people use every day rely on the positioning system to achieve electronic fence parking.
Not only that, the navigation system plays an irreplaceable role in many fields such as unmanned driving, surveying and mapping, sailing to the sea, and disaster relief.
In wartime, once the navigation system is not under your control, the accuracy and flight path of the precision-guided weapon cannot be guaranteed.In severe cases, weapons cannot even fight, like scrap iron.
It can be said that the satellite navigation system is like the third eye of the country and human beings, observing all the actions that take place on the earth.
As early as the 1960s, China began to study the use of satellites for ground positioning services.However, this plan was not implemented because of weak national power at the time.
In October 1985, Chen Yunfang, an advocate of the “863” plan and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, put forward a bold idea at a meeting jointly held by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Bureau of Surveying and Mapping of the Former General Staff of the PLA: using two geostationary orbit satellites to cover ChinaArea, and positioning and navigation of ground targets and moving objects at sea, and can also have communication functions.
This idea will be called the “double star positioning” theory in the future.
On September 25, 1989, in a temporary computer room of less than 30 square meters in Beijing, Chen Yunfang demonstrated the “satellite positioning system” for the first time with two satellites.The next day, Xinhua News Agency announced that my country will use two satellites to integrate rapid positioning, communication and timing and obtain ideal experimental data…
What Chen Yunfang demonstrated was the prototype of the Beidou-1 system in the future.
This experiment gave the Chinese people great confidence that China has the ability to build its own navigation system.
Subsequently, Sun Jiadong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, found Shen Rongjun, then deputy director of the National Defense Science and Technology Commission, and said, “It is imperative to develop satellite navigation without delay.”
As a result, the two coincided with each other and jointly wrote to the country, suggesting that China’s Beidou satellite navigation system should be activated.
In December 1994, the Beidou Navigation Experimental Satellite System project was approved by the state.
And as soon as they want to seriously engage in navigation, China immediately sees dilemmas and gaps:
At that time, the United States had invested more than US$20 billion in GPS engineering, and the annual maintenance cost was as high as US$500 million; but at that time, China’s economic foundation was still very weak, and the “863” plan budget for research and development in 7 major fields, including aerospaceOnly 10 billion yuan.
In terms of funding for early development of navigation systems, the gap between China and the United States is more than ten times.
There is a story that truly reflects this embarrassment.At that time, the office of Beidou Engineering was very tight. Tan Shusen, deputy chief designer of Beidou System, co-located with four people in an office, and this office was less than 20 square meters and could only barely accommodate a few people’s desks.
Fortunately, the Chinese have their own wisdom, and they have poor solutions.Since you can’t eat a fat in one bite, eat in three.
Therefore, my country has divided the construction of navigation satellites into three steps: the first step only covers the domestic area, the second step gradually covers the Asia-Pacific region, and the third step covers the world.
This is also the origin of the 59 Beidou satellites belonging to Beidou-1, Beidou-2, and Beidou-3–Beidou-1 was in the experimental phase, and a total of 4 experimental satellites were launched, covering the domestic area; Beidou-2 has 14 networksSatellites (actually launched a total of 23) can achieve coverage in the Asia-Pacific region; Beidou III contains 30 networking satellites (actually launched 32), which can achieve global coverage and accuracy comparable to GPS.
At the time of the Beidou project, in addition to lack of money, the greater difficulty was the lack of technology and talent.
The satellite navigation system was a “national weight” that related to a country’s military security. At that time, western countries imposed a severe technical blockade on China in almost all high-tech fields.For example, in the field of high-thrust electric vibration test equipment, before the 1980s, foreign countries embarked on vibration platforms with a thrust of more than 1 ton to China. After the 1990s, they were banned from vibration platforms with a thrust of more than 5 tons, and then changed to an embargo.More than 9 tons of equipment.
Even in July 1996, 33 Western countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, signed the “Wassenaar Agreement” to implement a control list of military and military dual-use commodities and technologies for China and other countries, including electronic devices, computers, and sensors., New materials and other nine categories of high-tech were banned.
In the absence of both money and technology, the Beidou system was forced to create its own “pioneering”:
At that time, the Beidou No. 1 R&D team, Chen Yunfang, Sun Jiadong and others did not choose to use GPS passive positioning technology, but based on active positioning technology (when positioning, the user terminal needs to send a signal to the ground control center through the navigation satellite to apply for positioning; Passive positioning is not required), two geostationary satellites can be used to locate and navigate ground targets and moving objects at sea, and can cover China and surrounding areas.But Beidou-1 has no altitude information.
To complete the coverage of similar areas, at least three satellites are required in accordance with the principles of GPS and the Soviet Union’s Glonas (the “inherited” by Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union) system.
Another special feature of Beidou-1 is that it also has a short message communication function that is not available in general navigation satellites.This means that Beidou Satellite has three main application directions of satellites at the same time-two of the “conducted remote” (that is, communication, navigation and remote sensing).
For China at the time, it could be said to spend a small amount of money to do big things, two birds with one stone.
Six years after the project was established, in 2000, the first two geostationary orbit satellites of Beidou-1 were successfully launched, and the Beidou-1 experimental system was officially completed and began to be put into use.
Although Beidou-1 looks primitive, it is of great significance. With these two satellites, China has become the third country in the world to have an autonomous satellite navigation system after the United States and Russia.
In 2003, the third geostationary satellite was launched, and the performance of the Beidou experimental system was further enhanced.
However, it must be admitted that although 9 years have passed since Beidou was officially started, there is still a clear gap between Beidou and GPS.
The positioning accuracy of Beidou-1 is 20 meters, the timing accuracy is 100 nanoseconds in one direction, and the short message communication ability is 120 Chinese characters/time.In contrast, at this time, GPS has not only covered the world, but the civilian positioning accuracy and timing accuracy have reached the level of 10 meters and 10 nanoseconds, respectively; military positioning has even been accurate to 1 meter.
The Beidou No. 1 can only provide ambiguous positioning and timing functions, and cannot measure speed.Such a Beidou not only has no advantage in the commercial field (GPS can be used free of charge worldwide), but also has limited value in the military field.
China must build a more accurate navigation and positioning system.
2. Heartbreak “Galileo”
After lack of money and technology, China, as a latecomer to the battlefield of navigation systems, is still facing a third resource-based challenge-lack of frequency.
If China really wants to improve the accuracy of its satellite navigation system and expand its coverage area on the basis of Beidou-1, it will need to send more satellites.The premise of satellites is to have a legal frequency orbit.
The frequency resources allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to satellite navigation systems are limited. This is a valuable resource that countries in the world want to develop their own satellite navigation systems.To obtain a legal orbit, you must first declare to ITU and coordinate with relevant systems.
In 1994, at the same time when Beidou-1 was launched, China also started the frequency application for Beidou navigation satellite system under the ITU framework.
At this time, the L-band of the “golden navigation band” of the navigation satellite has been occupied by the GPS and Glonass systems, and China can only apply for sub-optimal frequencies.
As it happens, the European Union is also constructing a Galileo navigation system at this time, which also requires the application frequency.
By 2000, China and Europe filed a frequency band application for the navigation satellite system to ITU: China acted first on April 17 of that year, and on June 5 less than two months later, the European Union also submitted a frequency application to ITU.
In the end, both China and Europe expanded the navigation satellite frequency bands of 1164MHz~1215MHz and 1260MHz~1300MHz under the ITU framework.
However, the application frequency is only the first step.The second step is to perform frequency coordination with the satellite system that is already in the sky.
To this end, since 2000, China has carried out frequency coordination with more than 300 satellite networks in more than 20 countries, regions and international organizations.
Frequency coordination is not an easy task. First, we must convince the other party how to achieve frequency compatibility without affecting the other party’s interests.Tan Shusen, chief expert of Beidou Frequency Design and International Coordination, participated in the whole process.
After complex frequency design and careful interference simulation calculation, Tan Shusen creatively proposed the satellite navigation spectrum sharing and compatibility evaluation criteria.The plan eventually won the approval of other satellite networks, and Beidou finally achieved a legal frequency.
Then came the third step: the stage of launching satellites and transmitting signals with real guns. This is a race against time.
Because according to the ITU rules, frequency resources must be “first-come-first-served” and “overdue”, and the validity period starts from the date of application and is only 7 years.
This is Beidou’s first time lock—that is, China must successfully launch a navigation satellite and successfully broadcast a signal before zero on April 18, 2007.
And China not only has to compete with time, but also with an opponent who cannot be underestimated, that is, the European Galileo system.This is because although China and Europe have applied for frequency bands from ITU, the frequencies of their navigation systems are highly coincident in the 1164MHz~1215MHz band.According to IUT’s “first-come-first-served” principle, both parties need to compete for frequencies.
Beidou and Galileo system frequency distribution
This brings a second time lock to Beidou-it must be faster than Galileo.
These two thresholds, any one of them is “to return to the night before liberation”.
Once the frequency is invalid, the preparation, application and coordination work of previous years will be abandoned; in research and development, the design and components of the transmission frequency calibration point and crystal in the original equipment must be adjusted to adapt to the replaced frequency.Very cumbersome, almost equivalent to starting over.
The Beidou system, which finally applied for and coordinated the frequency, is now experiencing a “DDL (cutoff time) crisis.”
After the frequency went down, China Beidou Satellite Navigation System Management Office immediately began to organize the project and arrange the plan.Looking at the results, the first satellite will not be launched until the end of 2007 at the earliest, which is half a year longer than the expiration date at zero on April 18, 2007.
To keep the frequency, the launch schedule can only be advanced half a year.This has never happened in the history of Chinese aerospace.
At this time, the Galileo system is ahead of Beidou in terms of technology and engineering progress, and the chance of Beidou winning is slim.
Just when China was overwhelmed by this, a turning point appeared.
In 2002, the Galileo navigation plan was launched.However, due to the financial crisis in Europe at that time, the Galileo plan was not going well.
And what makes the Europeans headache is that the old friend America is also restless.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States has lost its opponents.The U.S. free self began to pursue a unilateral foreign policy.
In 2003, the United States launched a war against Iraq.The war on the land facing Europe across the sea made the Europeans feel the danger of a “unipolar world”.
At that time, French President Chirac called for the establishment of a “multipolar world”, and German Chancellor Schroeder also expressed support for this.
Against this background, the European Union turned its attention to Asia and decided to include China in the Galileo program that had been launched.
China became the first non-EU participating country in the Galileoga plan.
China-Europe Galileo plan cooperation signing ceremony
China’s participation in the Galileo plan not only enabled the leaders of some European countries to earn enough political capital, but also greatly eased the financial situation of the “Galileo” plan, which laid a foundation for “Galileo” to enter the Chinese market.
For China, joining the Galileo program also has tangible benefits.According to the plan, the Galileo navigation system is based on the civilian global satellite navigation and positioning system, which is not controlled and managed by the military, and its accuracy and reliability are superior to GPS.Without worrying about military threats, it can not only provide China with free positioning, navigation and timing services, but also allow China to learn advanced navigation technology.
In 2004, China and Europe formally signed a technical cooperation agreement. China promised to invest a huge amount of 230 million euros. The first 70 million euros payment will soon be in place.
However, the political scene is always changing, and the politician’s face changes.
The joy of China-EU cooperation in the Galileo project lasted less than a year and disappeared.
In 2005, pro-American politicians from various European countries came to power one after another, and European politics began to turn and returned to the US camp again.
Naturally, the European Space Agency and the United States have returned to good relations.
China, which had invested huge sums of money in Galileo’s plan, not only did not receive commensurate treatment at this time, but also did not receive as good treatment as other non-EU countries that did not invest, such as India.
This “end” made China very dissatisfied.There are more and more conflicts between the two parties in the cooperative development of navigation systems.
In the same year, China, already disappointed with the cooperation, withdrew away and refocused its energy on the Beidou No. 2 system.
Beidou and Galileo moved from cooperation to competition.
3. Four hours, win the frequency defense battle
When the two sides began to cooperate, China kept one hand.
In 2004, the second step of Beidou navigation system-Beidou No. 2 was launched.
At this time, Beidou II was already two years behind the Galileo system in Europe.
As the cooperation broke down, the frequency of joint applications that year would be snatched away by former friends and today’s opponents.
On December 28, 2005, Galileo’s first experimental satellite “GIOVE-A” was successfully put into space orbit.
If the frequency is occupied by Europe at this time, then Beidou will face the dilemma of having no choice but to lift its feet.
Surprisingly, the Galileo experimental satellite did not open the frequency, only occupied the orbital frequency.
Why have satellites gone to the sky but not turned on?The reason is that there is no money.It costs money to open the frequency, but at this time Europe is tight.
Not only did the first satellite fail to signal, but Europe, which lacked money, also delayed the launch of the second satellite planned by Galileo for two years.The second Galileo satellite GIOVE-B, originally scheduled for launch in 2006, was finally successfully launched on April 27, 2008 and transmitted the first signal back to Earth.At that time, the first star of Beidou No. 2 had been on the sky for more than a year.Of course, this is something.
Going back to 2005, Galileo’s plan to sway, gave Beidou a chance to turn over.
As long as a star is made within two years, Beidou has a play.
Seeing Beidou’s progress catching up with the Galileo plan, Europe, which has not accounted for the frequency, has used another trick-restricting China with core equipment.
Originally, Europe had agreed to sell the core equipment of the navigation satellite, the atomic clock, to China, but suddenly regretted when he signed the contract.”Actually, it (Europe) is an embargo. To control this kind of sophisticated things, it is not sold to us.” Yang Changfeng, chief designer of Beidou Satellite Navigation System, said in recalling this storm.
Here it is necessary to explain the atomic clock.A simple understanding of an atomic clock is like a watch. It is a clock that accurately measures time. It uses the atomic resonance frequency standard to calculate and maintain accurate time. This is the most accurate time measurement and frequency standard known in the world.It directly determines the accuracy of the satellite navigation system and is as important as the human heart to the entire project.
Without an atomic clock, there is no time to calibrate, and navigation satellites are basically useless.
The Beidou R&D personnel who have tasted the partner’s “dropping the chain” key times several times have finally been determined-instead of being stuck in the neck by others, it is better to build an atomic clock by themselves.Even if the technology is weaker, it is necessary to hold the initiative firmly in your own hands.
According to the goal set by the chief designer of Beidou Yang Changfeng, the error of the atomic clock developed by China must reach 10 to the 12th power, that is, the atomic clock only has an error of one second every 100,000 years.
In order to catch up with the construction period, Beidou formed three teams of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Aerospace Science and Technology, Aerospace Science and Industry, and simultaneously tackled key issues, and simultaneously advanced in the fields of basic theory, materials, engineering and so on.Two years later, the domestic satellite-borne atomic clock was successfully developed.
Atomic clock of Beidou system
What is gratifying is that this atomic clock independently developed by China has better performance indicators than the European atomic clock that I wanted to buy.
The news reached the Europeans, at which time Europe agreed to sell it to the Chinese atomic clock, and the price was reduced by half.
But China still insists on using its own atomic clock.”We have built core key components, and our confidence in localization has also increased.” Yang Changfeng said.
In early April 2007, in the last few days before the frequency became ineffective, the satellite was transported to the launch base and mounted on the launch tower.
The Beidou people, who have been nervous for years, can breathe a sigh of relief.
The satellite’s final launch date is set for April 14.This date is already very tight. If everything goes well, the star will take off and return a signal, and Beidou will be able to complete the frequency occupation before the frequency failure on April 18.
However, good things always wear out.
During the third general inspection three days before launch, the staff suddenly discovered that the transponder on the satellite was abnormal.
This answering machine is equivalent to a mobile phone used by people, and it allows the satellites in the sky to connect with the ground receiving station.If the transponder is broken, the satellite cannot transmit radio signals, and the legal frequency resources cannot be obtained.
The news was like a pot of cold water splashing on the head of Beidou who was immersed in joy.
“At the most critical time, when this problem occurs, we are very worried.” Yang Changfeng, chief designer of Beidou Satellite Navigation System, said.
Because this satellite has a “mission” to occupy frequency resources, it can only fight back.Beidou researchers only have 3 days to solve this problem.
In order to ensure that the satellite is foolproof, the R&D personnel decided to “break the hole” after careful research.The staff first climbed on the tower to turn on the rocket, dialed the satellite, and then went in to take out the problematic transponder equipment. This process should not have any improper operation, otherwise the damage to other systems will be more troublesome.
The staff climbed on the satellite already on the launch pad for maintenance
Finally, the answering machine came out, and another question also came: the scientific research unit of the answering machine was in Shanghai. Xichang, where the launch site was located, had no highway and airport at the time., Absolutely impossible.
Under the coordination of all parties, the Beidou commander decided to repair the transponder in a scientific research unit in Chengdu.
“The bumps were held in my arms for four or five hours, to prevent the car from shaking (damaging the answering machine) and protected like a child.” Yang Changfeng said.
The staff finally put the transponder back into the satellite before launching.At 4:11 on April 14, 2007, this Beidou satellite with a frequency maintenance mission was successfully launched.
Seeing the moment of victory is coming.
Over the next three days, more than a dozen Beidou satellite research and development companies concentrated on a large playground, putting the satellite signal receivers in a line, waiting for the signal to return.The staff debugs the ground equipment and receives signals regardless of day or night.But until the day of April 17, the ground station still did not receive satellite signals.
These three days have been very good for Yang Changfeng, who is nearly 50 years old.”In the three days of maintenance, to be honest, I was tense, heavy, and stressed. I basically didn’t close my eyes for 72 hours,” he said.
On the evening of the 17th, I saw that ITU’s “seven-year limit” was about to expire, and the ground signal receiver was still intact.
At eight o’clock in the evening, dozens of user receiver interfaces suddenly jumped, and Beidou Satellite finally delivered the first set of signals.
Seeing this scene, “Our entire playground cheered and jumped, and the comrades embraced each other to congratulate this victory.” Yang Changfeng recalled.
The dangling heart finally fell.
The first satellite of Beidou-2 successfully completed its mission, not only successfully orbiting, but also occupying the frequency.But the breathtaking thing is that the Beidou satellite, which has been waiting for 7 years, finally ushered in legalization when it was less than 4 hours away from the “7-year limit” of ITU.
“As soon as I talk about this scene, I will cry. This is a release of pressure and a joy to complete the task. This work is related to the entire Beidou system and its future development. No signal is received,There is no current Beidou system.” In an interview with the media many years later, Yang Changfeng recalled that the scene was still very excited.
Throughout the Beidou project, this star acts as a link between success and failure: it is the crystallization of the efforts of the previous 13 years and also paved the way for the construction of the next 13 years.
4. Beidou speed of 18 stars a year
After solving the track problem, Beidou entered the open mode.
In 2009, the second Beidou No. 2 navigation satellite was launched; in 2010, five satellites were launched one after another; in 2011, another three Beidou satellites were launched, one of which also experienced a rain launch, which was quite immobile..
By the end of October 2012, the Beidou-2 system officially completed networking and went into operation after 16 satellites were continuously issued.
Since then, the Beidou-2 system has launched six additional satellites, and it is still providing navigation and other services for the Asia-Pacific region.
The completion of Beidou-2 has allowed China to win the frequency competition between China and Europe.
In fact, when the third satellite was launched by Beidou II in 2010, it officially adopted the same PRS frequency band as the European “Galileo” satellite.To this end, the European Space Agency delegation came to Beijing several times to request negotiations with China.
According to European officials, this frequency was obtained from Europeans with “blood books”, and the Galileo system has already been technically designed at this frequency and cannot be modified. Therefore, the Chinese Beidou system is required to “relocate” to other channels.
However, China obtains the frequency according to ITU’s “first-come-first-served” rules, and there is no reason to give up.At the beginning of 2015, the EU had no choice but to accept the frequency sharing concept proposed by China, and the frequency dispute between China and Europe was resolved.
In 2009 when the second Beidou-2 satellite was launched, Beidou-3 was also launched.
Eight years later, on November 5, 2017, my country successfully launched two Beidou-3 medium-circular orbit satellites in a “two arrows with one star” method.This is the first launch of the Beidou-3 satellite, marking the beginning of China’s Beidou satellite navigation system into the era of global networking.
The following year, Beidou-3 entered the satellite high-density launch period.
Throughout 2018, Beidou-3 launched a total of 18 satellites, which broke the precedent in the history of world navigation satellites and created the “Beidou speed”.
On December 27 of this year, Ran Chengqi, the director of the China Satellite Navigation System Management Office and the spokesperson for Beidou Satellite Navigation System, officially announced that the construction of the Beidou No. 3 basic system was completed and began to provide global services.
Beidou at this time has completely surpassed the Galileo system.
An example is that in the second half of 2019, all services of the European Galileo navigation satellite system were interrupted for nearly a week.
Europe blamed China for the paralysis of the Galileo system, complaining that the paralysis was “forced by China.”
However, the investigation report of the final failure is speechless: the main culprit of the system paralysis is human error and management confusion.Simply put, it is caused by no one in charge.
It is hard to believe that this is the navigation system that surpassed Beidou in terms of technology, capital and R&D progress more than ten years ago.
The Beidou system is still gaining momentum, and 10 satellites have been launched in 2019.
The last Beidou networking satellite launched this time is the 32nd Beidou-3 satellite and the 55th Beidou global networking satellite.
So far, the entire Beidou series has launched a total of 59 satellites, which are distributed in geostationary orbit (GEO), tilted geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) and medium-circle earth orbit (MEO).
Among them, among the last 30 Beidou-3 satellites (less than the actual number of satellites launched) to support the global coverage of the Beidou system, 3 are GEO satellites, 3 are IGSO satellites, and 24 are MEO satellites.
The three types of satellites cooperate with each other-three GEO satellites can basically achieve triple enhanced coverage of the Chinese region, which can reduce the number of satellites in the entire constellation to control costs, and GEO satellites also have short message communication functions, one star multi-purpose.
Three IGSO satellites can make up for the problem of low elevation angle of GEO satellites in high latitude areas, and can effectively enhance signal in high latitude areas.
The last 24 MEO satellites constitute the core constellation of Beidou Global Network, and the satellites of GPS, Glonass and Galileo navigation systems are deployed in this orbit.
However, due to geopolitical reasons, it is impossible for my country to establish a ground station around the world like the US GPS.In order to solve the problem of the data transmission channel of overseas satellites, Beidou System first adopted a unique new design-adopting the inter-satellite and satellite-to-satellite transmission function integrated design to realize the link communication between satellite and satellite, and satellite and ground station.
This method is called “inter-satellite link”, which not only solves the problem of building ground stations around the world, but also improves the accuracy of the Beidou system by twice.
Even the second-generation system upgraded by GPS in 2010 also chose to connect in this way.This time, Chinese wisdom once again convinced “opponents”.
Although the Beidou global networking is finally completed, this is not the end.
According to the plan, by 2035, my country will build a more integrated and smarter integrated positioning and navigation timing (PNT) system with Beidou as the core.
But now, another work of Beidou is in full swing.
5. Join the trillion market battle
This work is the integration and commercialization of military and civilian.
Satellite navigation systems, which were born due to military needs, have greater value in the civilian and commercial fields.
The European Global Navigation Satellite System Bureau said in the “2019 Global Satellite Navigation Market Report” that the output value of the global satellite industry in 2019 is about 150.7 billion euros, equivalent to about 1.2 trillion yuan.
Among them, more than 90% of the market is occupied by GPS, and other navigation systems share less than 10% of the market.
Although GPS is still the dominant company, with the completion of the Beidou and Galileo systems, the advantages of GPS are diminishing.
And Beidou, as a post-development system, has some advantages in function:
First of all, my country’s Beidou navigation system created for the first time three mixed constellations of different orbits. Due to the high number of high-orbit satellites, it has strong anti-occlusion capabilities and more obvious performance in low-latitude regions;
Secondly, the Beidou navigation system has the function of short message communication, and the application direction is wider;
Third, the Beidou navigation system replaces the way of building global ground stations with the “inter-satellite link” connection method, and can achieve navigation and communication functions without relying on ground communication stations.
A new global navigation market competition is starting.
As early as 2013, the Beidou No. 2 system was commercialized after it was put into operation.
At the press conference of the “White Paper on the Development of China’s Satellite Navigation and Location Services Industry” that year, representatives of the China Satellite Navigation and Positioning Association named 2013 as the “first year”-“Beidou System’s standard on personal mobile terminals and in-vehicle electronic equipment”The first year of the start of matching and “the first year of Beidou location service”.
This year, the national level promoted the commercialization of Beidou several times: On January 14, the Ministry of Transport deployed to accelerate the implementation of the “Key Transportation Process Monitoring and Management Service Demonstration System Project” and became the first civil demonstration project of Beidou Satellite Navigation System;In September, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology and other departments jointly drafted the “National Satellite Navigation Industry Medium-and-Long-Term Development Plan” officially released and implemented, which proposed that Beidou Navigation and its compatible products will contribute to the domestic satellite navigation application market by 2020To reach 60%.
Since then, Beidou has been applied in the fields of power, vehicle management, car navigation, wearable devices, navigation, GIS data collection, precision agriculture, smart logistics, unmanned driving, engineering survey and other fields.
Typical application of Beidou system
Even Beidou has many applications in people’s daily lives, such as railway safety and shared bicycle parking.
my country’s railways mainly guarantee the safety of train operation through signal systems such as signal machines and train control.However, the signal system depends on ground equipment to varying degrees.In extreme cases such as strong natural disasters, the equipment may be severely damaged, leading to blind spots in dispatching and command, which may cause major traffic accidents such as train rear-end collisions.The Beidou system can also locate trains around the clock without relying on ground equipment, becoming the first choice for avoiding train rear-end accidents.
Bicycle sharing is one of the biggest headaches for city managers.After the Beidou positioning system is applied, a bicycle can specify an electronic parking area. Only when the vehicle is parked in the area can the car be locked, otherwise the car cannot be locked and the billing will continue.
According to the “White Paper on the Development of China’s Satellite Navigation and Location Services Industry (2019)” issued by the China Satellite Navigation and Positioning Association, as of 2018, the overall output value of China’s satellite navigation and location services industry has reached 301.6 billion yuan.The core output value of the industry directly related to the application reached 106.9 billion yuan, and Beidou contributed 80% of the core output value of the industry.
Although Beidou’s current market size is about 100 billion yuan, which is far lower than that of the US GPS, its potential is accelerating. More and more foreign projects have recognized the value of Beidou.
First, four countries in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Brunei and Myanmar) signed an agreement with the Chinese government to adopt our Beidou navigation system.
Subsequently Pakistan also joined the “Beidou camp”.
Since then, even Russia, which already has a navigation system, has come to buy Beidou products.
By 2019, the Beidou system has been widely used in areas such as land confirmation in Indonesia, construction of Kuwait, Uganda land surveying, precision agriculture in Myanmar, offshore piling in the Maldives, UAVs in Cambodia, warehousing and logistics in Thailand, airport timing in Pakistan, and electric power inspection in Russia.application.
Today, Beidou foundation enhancement technology and products are exported overseas as a system. Beidou basic products have been exported to more than 120 countries and regions, and Beidou high-precision products have also been exported to more than 90 countries and regions.
In fact, in a sense, the military value of the navigation system also needs to be consolidated through civilian value, because an unused navigation system will encounter bottlenecks in terms of performance improvement and industry penetration, and it will lose its security foundation in an emergency.And the potential to act as a countermeasure.
A few years ago, the world’s most famous military journal, the British Jane’s Defense Weekly, wrote that China’s Beidou system posed a challenge to the US GPS system, and the era of US monopoly on satellite navigation high technology will end.
Now, this statement is slowly being fulfilled-China’s independently developed navigation system not only broke through various foreign blockades, but also stood in the world’s satellite navigation arena and slowly showed muscles.
The current Chinese technology market is experiencing the experience of Beidou more than a decade ago-the technological blockade of a technologically powerful country.
This kind of blockade is a helpless phenomenon of the regression of globalization, which will bring pains to the industries of various countries and repeatedly consume resources that are not much of humankind.But in the face of the fact that it is already forming, China, which is still a latecomer country economically and technologically, has no more choices: it can only do it on its own.
How to break a path when starting time, capital, technology, talent and even international resources are at a disadvantage?Beidou may provide inspiration for the development of China’s science and technology.

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