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China is investing $810 million in Beidou

Staff writer |
China will invest $810 million (5 billion yuan) in an industrial park to make products for Beidou, a Chinese navigation satellite system.

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The park will be operating in Tianjin by 2015, said Miao Qianjun, secretary-general of the Global Navigation Satellite System and Location-Based Service Association of China. Output at the 27-hectare Beidou Strategic Emerging Industrial Park is expected to be worth 10 billion yuan by 2017.

The industrial park, built by the association and Tianjin's Wuqing district government, is expected to welcome its first 20 companies in June, writes China Daily. The association estimates that the industrial chain involving Beidou will create a national market worth 400 billion yuan by the end of 2020, with annual growth of 30 to 50 percent.

One program that experts are studying would help taxi drivers in Beijing use the Beidou Navigation Satellite System to locate nearby passengers.

Watches, using the Beidou system, will be able to achieve incredible accuracy by syncing with Beidou navigational satellites. Beidou can identify a user's location within 10 meters and clock synchronization signals to within 50 nanoseconds.

Brad Parkinson, professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University, best known as the father of the GPS, said: "The only limits for the application of a global navigation satellite system are the limits of human imagination".

The industrial park will have an area especially for foreign companies and institutes to introduce their advanced concepts and technology, Miao added. About ten leading foreign companies are expected to operate in the area initially, according to Miao.

China is the third country, next to the United States and Russia, to design and manufacture its own navigation satellite system. Beidou has 16 satellites providing service for users in the Asia-Pacific and China plans to provide a global service with more than 30 satellites in operation by 2020.

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