China, US cooperates on satellite navigation to offer better GPS & BeiDou services

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China seems to move a step forward in the field of satellite navigation technology, as China and the US have cooperated to establish compatible signal characteristics that will both protect and advance service quality for GPS users and those of the Chinese BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).

The news broke earlier this week that the US and China has signed a joint statement on civil signal compatibility and interoperability between the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). This means that users can receive BeiDou signals with GPS devices, and vice versa, ensuring a more accurate system.

In fact, the two countries have worked together for three years on the matter. The joint statement pointed out that in May 2014 China Satellite Navigation Office and the Office of Space and Advanced Technology, US Department of State jointly established the US-China Civil GNSS Cooperation Dialogue—a bilateral government-to-government mechanism to promote cooperation between the US GPS and the Chinese BDS.

“Over the past three years, representatives and experts from both sides have studied and discussed various topics related to civil service provision and user applications, among which BDS compatibility and civil interoperability with GPS is one of the core focus areas,” wrote the statement, adding that both sides have carried out extensive in-depth analysis, and have engaged in persistent discussion and coordination.

It’s worth noting that China is progressing in the field by allying with the US. “Both sides agree to continue their consultations and cooperation related to compatibility and interoperability in order to provide better services for global users,” wrote the statement.