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back to article GPS rival Beidou will cover Asia Pac by end of the year

China will expand its home grown GPS rival Beidou by launching three global positioning satellites that it hopes will make it possible to have the service up and running in Asia Pacific by the end of the year. Beidou, which translates as “Big Dipper”, will be able to provide a high quality positioning, navigation and time …

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Anonymous Coward

its starting

To get crowded up there.

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Headmaster

You say Beidou, I say Baidu

And I managed to pronounce both as "Buy-doo". Can someone please enlighten me how these two names might be pronounced differently?

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Re: You say Beidou, I say Baidu

Well, Beidou will be pronounced 'Compass' when it goes global.

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Holmes

Re: You say Beidou, I say Baidu

"Bay-doh" and "Bai-doo"

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Joke

Re: You say Beidou, I say Baidu

In the same manner as to how 'Beijing' is pronounced as 'Peking'.

<pedantry alert>

Beidou-1 has been in service since 2000 with 3 satellites, though it is classified as experimental.

Beidou-2, or Compass [BeiDou (Compass) Navigation Satellite System], is a new system, launched in 2011. This has 11 satellites in orbit now, with reported plans to extend this number to more than 70 to provide global coverage.

</pedantry alert>

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Joke

re: John Overmont

And I say "Doobie Doobie Doo"

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Boffin

enlighten us..

could any one of the estweemed technical experts comment on the relative technical merits of the rivalling sat nav systems?

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Re: enlighten us..

other then the fact that since it is newer, it might be more accurate? then "no" there aren't any technical merits. The reason behind the alternative satnav system is a political one and not a technical one.

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Re: enlighten us..

If you have a GPS receiver that can simultaneously interpret the signals from more systems than the standard GPS then you are more likely to get an accurate fix due to the higher number of visible satellites.

However, it might affect processing time for the first fix as it calculates the geometries etc from different systems especially if you can't use AGPS.

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Re: enlighten us..

If there are multiple owners (systems), then if one decides to end it's service or dick around, then your kit will continue to work. Future compatible kit will be more resilient.

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Alert

Re: enlighten us..

"will be able to provide a high quality positioning"

"It is currently able to locate to within ten metres in most of mainland China"

GPS maybe. But I'd like to see someone satnav their way aroundf Peking with 10mtr accuracy.

(Turn left 9.5mtrs ago!)

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Re: enlighten us..

GPS can be turned off a or a completely new coding system introduced any time that the USA DoD

feels like; with so much stuff depending on global navigational and time distribution it makes some

sense for other countries to have their own satnav.

However to me 4 systems (GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo) seems excessive.

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Add IRNASS to the list.

Looks like India will have a working constellation up before Galileo.

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Dear Mr Putin

Let's have less GLONASS and more GLASNOST from you m'lad

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How localised coverage?

I'm fascinated to know what orbits these satellites use that result in non-uniform coverage. Such orbits do exist, but they aren't used by American GPS, or Galileo.

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Ru
Paris Hilton

Re: How localised coverage?

Is it not a matter of them using conventional orbits, but having a fairly sparse constellation? Presumably any given point on the Earth's surface can see these satellites at one time or another, but only certain bits of the planet can actually guarantee sufficient coverage for a positioning system to work?

This makes more sense if the Beidou-1 satellites are involved too, given that they are in geostationary orbits.

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