China launched the last satellite of the third generation navigation system Beidou, thus completed its formation. Now the orbital system Beidou consists of 35 vehicles, according to SpaceNews.
Global satellite navigation systems are used for a huge number of civil and military tasks, not only for positioning, as is commonly believed. For example, such systems are critical for synchronization of power grids due to the fact that satellites allow us to know the exact time. Because of this, after the launch of the GPS developed countries or unions began to create their own alternative, because in the case of military or political conflict, they can potentially lose access to a foreign system. One recent example is the UK, which in 2018 said about the possible creation of a national satellite system due to the fact that the European Union may complicate access your signals of the Galileo system on the background of the country’s withdrawal from the European Union.
China began deploying its satellite navigation system Beidou in 2000. Originally, it was regional and covered by the signal of the Asia-Pacific region, and in the third generation has become global. It consists of 35 satellites in orbits of different types: geostationary, inclined geosynchronous and medium earth. Open signal provides positioning accuracy of about two meters, and an encrypted signal for military, presumably, increase the accuracy to about ten centimeters.
The last satellite of the third generation Beidu was launched on 23 June at 04:43 Moscow time from the Baikonur Xichang. For this purpose we used a Long March 3B rocket. The rocket put the satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit parameters 218 35784 km and an inclination of 28.4 degrees. After the separation, he successfully opened a solar panel.
Some Beidou satellites of the third generation support the international rescue system “COSPAS-SARSAT”, which allows to determine the location of signal emergency beacon and pass it to a rescue service. Early in the year Galileo got the opportunity not only to take data from emergency buoys, but also to inform them that the signal is accepted and transferred, and a rescue team is sent to help.