The last satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 9:43 a.m (Beijing Time) on June 23, 2020, marking the full completion of the deployment of China’s own global navigation system.
Launch of the last satellite of BDS-3 (Photo by Hu Xujie / Our Space)
In the course of the construction and application of the BDS system, a large number of Beihangers contributed their wisdom and energy to its development.
1. The Passive Integrated Navigation System of BDS-1
When the feasibiliity of BDS was still under discussion, an older generation of Beihang scientists, such as Professors Ding Ziming and Tan Zhanzhong, already began to study the needs for BDS applications in the field of aviation. In 2001, the Beihang team first developed BDS-1 Passive-Inertial Integrated Navigation System and tested it on a domestic type of plane. They also conducted research into the integrated navigation system with BDS and inertial devices, which has been successfully applied to various kinds of planes and vehicles.
2. The Key Breakthrough in Chip and Terminal Technology of BDS-2
Committed to research on chips as the receiving terminal of satellite navigation for years, the team of Professor Zhang Xiaolin succeeded in developing digital baseband receiver chips compatible with both GPS and BDS, which greatly enhanced the popularization and application of low-cost multi-mode BDS receivers. The team of Professor Qin Honglei developed multi-frequency BDS software receivers with high precision, sensitivity and anti-interference ability. This team also designed and developed the BDS-based integrated navigation signal receiving and processing terminal and the high-precision BDS attitude determination system, which have diverse military and civil applications.
3. The Design and Comprehensive Test of the BDS-3 Signal System
Professors Feng Wenquan, Wang Zulin and Huang Zhigang led the team to participate in the research and development of key technologies in ground data management system, signal system and error modeling evaluation. Researchers also designed the BDS-3 error correction coding, guaranteeing the accurate shuffling of the B1C and other civil signals. Thus solid foundation will be laid for the development, test signal design and the development and test of terminals of the BDS system.
4. The Difference Processing and Integrity Monitoring System of BDS-3
The team of Li Rui participated in the basic integrity monitoring of BDS-3, the design of Satellite-based Augmentation System (SBAS) and the breakthrough of key technologies, and designed the basic integrity monitoring system as well as the relevant cable parameter system. According to international civil aviation standards, researchers completed the design of SBAS and application of geostationary (GEO) satellites-PRN in SBAS, successfully incorporating SBAS into international civil aviation standards and acquiring the Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN), which helped to overcome obstacles to the building of Beidou SBAS.
5. International Exchange, Training and Degree Education on BDS
At present, Beihang University has become a crucial base for Beidou international exchange and education. Some centers like the BeiDou International Exchange and Training Center of China Satellite Navigation System Management Office and the Regional Center for Space Science and Technology Education in the Asia-Pacific Region (RCSSTEAP-China) affiliated to the United Nations (also known as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Information Center) are all based at Beihang University. As of April 2020, nearly 80 master’s and doctoral students in the field of Satellite Navigation have been cultivated for 17 countries. Besides, 21 short-term training activities on satellite navigation technology and application have been held and a total of over 800 students from more than 40 countries have been trained, providing important talent support for the internationalization of BeiDou applications.
6. BeiDou High-precision Positioning Network and Its Application in Transportation
Professor Shi Chuang’s team has achieved innovative accomplishments in the research of China’s BeiDou high-precision positioning technology, covering the theory and method, kernel software and equipment, and related service system. Related results have been successfully applied to the construction of China’s BeiDou Ground-based Augmentation System and High-precision Global Positioning System, realizing the improvement of BeiDou’s location service performance in accuracy, quickness and stability and providing strong support for its large-scale popularization in China’s key fields and industries. The project led by Professor Shi won the first prize of National Scientific and Technological Progress Award in 2018.
7. The Application and International Standardization of the BDS System in Civil Aviation
The team led by Academician Zhang Jun developed the high-performance BeiDou takeoff and landing guidance system and airborne multi-mode receiver (MMR), which provides strong technical support for the first flight test of domestic-made aircraft ARJ-21.
The team developed the base station and vehicle terminal based on AeroMACS (Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communication) and BeiDou high-precision positioning technology, and completed the first pilot project of AeroMACS and BeiDou-based application for airport ground operation in China in 2018, which realized high-precision positioning monitoring and real-time data wireless transmission within the airport. The technical specification validations of B1C, B2a and B1I signals of BDS by the ICAOStandard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) have been preliminarily completed. It is expected to include BDS in ICAO by the end of 2020, and launch the large-scale, systematic and global application of BDS in civil aviation.
8. Expanding Application of BeiDou Satellite Reflected Signal in Remote Sensing
Professor Yang Dongkai's team has actively expanded the application of BeiDou Satellite reflected signal in remote sensing, which has been successfully applied to marine remote sensing, maritime safety, soil moisture detection and other fields. BDS GEO satellites can be used to detect typhoon accurately. The team achieved soil moisture monitoring based on signals of BDS. The research on meteorological environment safety monitoring system of offshore oil platform based on BDS was also carried out to provide technical support for the safe operation of the platform.
9. The Drafting and Legislation of Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Satellite Navigation
Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Satellite Navigation (hereinafter referred to as the Regulations) is the first regulationin the field ofsatellite navigation in China. Entrusted by the China Satellite Navigation System Management Office, the team of Professor Yang Junlin took the responsibility of drafting the Regulations and made significant achievements: they organized well-known legislative experts to jointly draft the bill; carried out a series of monographic researches to provide theoretical support for the legislation; proposed and promoted the discussion on the issue of legal institution for the first time at the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG) on behalf of China.
Besides, numerous alumni threw themselves into the frontline of the BDS construction and development. Wang Shufang, enrolled in Beihang in 1991, is now the deputy director of the Navigation Center of China Transport Telecommunications & Information Center. He is known as the "goddess of Beidou” for her outstanding contribution to the BDS system. She was involved in the construction of two generations of the BDS system and the enacting of four national military standards.
Serving national strategic needs, Beihanger are always prepared to devote themselves to the development of the BDS system and forge ahead in the perpetual journey of innovation.
Translated by Lyu Xingyun, Li Mingzhu, Feng Yueyue, Zhao Yue,
Ren Chenjie and Ma Yaping
Designed by Wu Haojing
Reviewed by General Editorial Office of Official Site (GEOOS)
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