BeiDou jet navigation system test could mean smoother, faster flights

Updated 2017-10-16 09:32:54 Global Times

System could improve military, commercial safety

A Chinese regional jetliner equipped with a homegrown BeiDou navigation system completed its test flight on Saturday, which experts believe has considerable meaning for the safety of domestic jetliners.

The test, at an airport in Dongying, East China's Shandong Province, was the first case of a Chinese regional jet to use the BeiDou navigation system, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China website.

"The BeiDou navigation system could mean a lot for improving the safety of domestic jetliners. The current GPS cannot meet the needs of Chinese jetliners. This is why flights are often delayed due to weather conditions," Jiao Weixin, a space science professor at Peking University, told the Global Times.

So, when the BeiDou navigation application matures, it's quite possible that there will be more accurate departure and arrival times, minimizing the effects of weather, Jiao added.

The test flight covered the onboard performance of the navigation information receiver, the ground-based signal system, and the short-messaging function of the BeiDou system.

The results showed the performance of the Chinese navigation system on a par with similar systems produced abroad, or at the internationally advanced level in quick positioning index, the Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) said on Saturday.

"The International Civil Aviation Organization has very high standards for navigation equipment used on aircraft, so, the use of the BeiDou navigation system attests to its high-level and reliability," Zhao Kangning, former deputy director of China's National Administration of Global Navigation Satellite Systems and Applications, told the Global Times.

Zhao said he believes that the successful combination of the BeiDou navigation system and a regional jetliner shows that the Beidou navigation system is in a leading position among other navigation systems worldwide.

Also, the BeiDou navigation system is not limited to use in aviation since it has an increasing number of uses just in everyday life, from the new shared bicycles to bank cards to unmanned patrol vehicles.

According to Jiao, the future applications are not only in the field of commercial aircraft, it can also be used in the field of traffic, transportation, agriculture, social development and scientific research.

The BeiDou navigation system is being used in weather forecasting, explained Jiao, adding that the signal the system sends can help scientists predict weather conditions faster and more accurately.

"The navigation system can have military applications as well, and guarantee signal accuracy and significantly influence the development of missile technology, hence strengthening our national defense," Jiao concluded.

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