Publicerad den Lämna en kommentar

Global BeiDou Turns 21

Seven-ninths of the way there! The 21st satellite of the Beidou-3 global constellation, destined to number 27 upon completion, successfully launched from Xichang on June 24. Once in final orbit and commissioned, it will become the second of 3 planned inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) satellites, traipsing in figure-eight loops across the skies above China and neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region.

The IGSO trio will play a key role in the expansion of Beidou-3 from a regional to a global system, in that they may afford the Asia-Pacific region greater BeiDou-derived accuracy and availability — the so-called “optimized coverage” — than will be accessible to users of the constellation in other areas of the world.

The new satellite, like others of its latest generation, will establish inter-satellite ranging links, and carries new-gun rubidium atomic clocks and passive hydrogen maser clocks. It weighs 450 kg, a gain over previous generations, with a phased array antenna for navigation signals, a laser retroreflector and deployable S/L-band and C-band antennas.

While BeiDou-3 has widespread applications in construction, transportation, fishing, power grid, disaster response, public security, smart cities and more, it will also bring increased capability — and independence from GPS — to the People’s Liberation Army. At 2 million strong with modernizing equipment, this is a force to be reckoned with in an increasingly unsettled region, with China actively pursuing numerous territorial disputes.

Beidou-3 is migrating its civil or B1 signal from 1561.098 MHz to 1575.42 MHz, the same as the GPS L1 and Galileo E1, and changing from a quadrature phase shift keying modulation to a multiplexed binary offset carrier modulation similar to Galileos E1 and the pending GPS L1C.

Lämna ett svar