Galileo, a global navigation satellite system that will reach more places and work more precisely than today's GPS services, is now available for free public use. When it is complete, expected by 2020, Galileo will have taken two decades and an estimated $10 billion to build. But the system, created by the European Union, will make your phone run better and offer new possibilities for both corporate and government users. With Galileo's opening, announced this month, providers of a variety of services and devices, from specialized navigation systems to mobile-phone and car makers, will be able to add its signal to that of the 70-odd satellites in the American GPS and Russian GLONASS systems. At least 17 companies are already poised to do so, among them phone makers Huawei and BQ.
The Beidou-3 satellites were launched aboard a single Long March-3B rocket from the Xichang launch center in Sichuan province on Sunday night, broadcaster CCTV and the Xinhua News Agency reported. China plans to complete a network of more than 30 satellites to provide real-time geospatial information worldwide by 2020. The system started operating in mainland China in 2000 and then expanded to cover the Asia-Pacific region in 2012. The Beidou-3 satellites represent an upgrade, as they have greater accuracy and an enhanced ability to communicate with other satellite navigation systems. The network will eventually provide monitoring and safety information with the nation's multinational infrastructure mega-project, the Belt and Road Initiative, designed to link China with Central Asia, Europe, Africa and beyond.
China has ambitions for its rapidly expanding Beidou satellite navigation system to serve the whole world, not just Asia, but will it really be able to rival the well-established - and US-owned - GPS system? Dalintai - a herder in northern China - used to travel miles every day on his motorcycle to deliver water for his livestock. Now, according to the the Xinhua news agency, all he has to do is send a text message to operate an automated water delivery system. "I am able to deliver water to my sheep and cattle wherever and whenever I want via this system," he says. The message is relayed over China's expanding Beidou satellite navigation system, which is already being used used for transport, agriculture and even precision missiles.
PARIS – Europe's beleaguered Galileo satellite navigation system has suffered another setback, with clocks failing onboard a number of satellites in space, the European Space Agency said Wednesday. Designed to render Europe independent from America's GPS, the €10 billion ($11 billion) project may experience further delays as the cause of the failure is investigated, ESA Director General Jan Woerner told journalists in Paris. Eighteen orbiters have been launched for the Galileo constellation to date, a number that will ultimately be boosted to 30 operational satellites and two spares. Early, initial services were launched in December, and the failure of nine clocks out of 72 launched to date has not affected operation, Woerner said. No satellite has been declared "out" as a result of the glitch.
The Air Force is increasing the defense cover over the country with the launch of a satellite that will detect and warn about missile launches around the world. The Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 3, will launch between 7:42-8:22 p.m. EST Friday from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. An Atlas 5 rocket of the United Launch Alliance (ULA), named AV-066, will put the satellite in a geosynchronous orbit from where, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin, it will use infrared surveillance to support the military in four ways -- missile defense, missile warning, battlespace awareness and technical intelligence. The launch was previously scheduled for the evening of Jan. 19, but was postponed "due to a violation of Eastern Range safety criteria," ULA said. The company will start a live broadcast of the launch at 7:22 p.m. EST, 20 minutes before the launch window opens.