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China GPS competitor Beidou is now fully operational after the final satellite is launched



China GPS competitor Beidou is now fully operational after the final satellite is launched

Until now, there have only been four major GNSS networks: GPS (US), GLONASS (Russia), Galileo (European Union) and now Beidou. India and Japan operate smaller systems.

Most people are used to GPS, which is used for everything from personal navigation on your smartphone to tracking aircraft and container ships around the world.

Beidou is an alternative system for China. It is named after the Chinese word for the Big Dipper constellation, and has taken nearly two decades to complete.

There is hope in China that Beidou can become a global competitor for GPS, but the US option still has “absolute market share,” said Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert who has worked with the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Development and Reform Development Commission.

Experts say that China’s push for new navigation networks is also driven by a desire to reduce its dependence on American GPS, especially in its armed forces.

There are several other advantages for countries that have their own GNSS network over prestige, according to Andrew Dempster, director of the Australian Space Engineering Research Center (ACSER) at the University of New South Wales.

“To be honest with Beidou there is nothing unique about that,” said Dempster. “This is just the prestige that the Chinese want to say that they got it. This is the same as going to the moon, planting a flag for that purpose,” Dempster said.

GPS history

The United States and Russia first began construction on their own GNSS navigation arrangement at the height of the Cold War.

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GPS was first proposed by the US Department of Defense in 1973, while Russia’s GLONASS system began six years later in 1979. Both were declared “fully operational” in 1995.

Most systems, such as GPS, work by using four satellites at a time to measure the distance a signal needs to reach a point on land – for example your smartphone – to calculate exactly where that point fell on the map.

China began to build its navigation arrangements in 1994. Work on Galileo began much later, but the European Union network is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020.

The US, Russian and now Beidou systems in China are partly owned or operated by the military, Song said. The Galileo network is the only purely civilian GNSS system.

The four systems consist of at least 20 satellites, according to the GPS website.

Experts say that the reach and effectiveness of the global GNSS network currently leaves little justification for additional arrays to be built.

Suelynn Choy, associate professor at the RMIT School of Science Cluster in Melbourne, said it would be useful to have an alternative if certain GNSS networks were offline offline, as did the Galileo network in July 2019.

“From a civilian point of view it’s good because we don’t rely too much on one system … it can cause the global economy a bit of a problem,” he said.

But another benefit is giving the operating country a military advantage over its competitors, said Dempster of ASCER. If opposing forces navigate using your GNSS network, you can turn off the signal.

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Military advantage

Dempster said that while debate has raged globally in recent years about the risks of using China’s internet infrastructure, such as Huawei’s 5G provider, the same concerns do not apply to the GNSS system.

“It transmits a signal, you have a receiver and unless there are other channels, you don’t communicate back to the GPS system or the Beidou system,” he said.

But there is a risk when the military uses the enemy’s GNSS system, which can be distorted by the controlling government or shut down as needed.

Writing for the China Brief in 2014, former intelligence officer and analyst Kevin McCauley said that for years, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) relied most use GPS for navigation.

“But the Beidou terminal now seems to be deployed to a greater extent throughout the PLA, while providing capabilities that were not previously available to the Chinese military,” McCauley said.

Now that the system is complete, the PLA and the Chinese government can rely on their own navigation array.

Dempster said this could important for Beijing, especially because tensions with the US are growing in various fields.

“It would make sense for them to have their own military system because there are conflicts in the South China Sea over these islands, GPS can be rejected for them and the US military can still use military signals,” he said.

“So they have satellite navigation and the Chinese don’t.”

Experts say that China might not only push Beidou as a potential civil competitor for GPS. Already, a close ally of Pakistan has given access to the Beidou network, switch from US alternatives. Experts say access can be offered to countries that sign the Beijing Road and Belt signature infrastructure initiative.

“No matter which industry, minimal errors can result in broad divergences. Beidou can guarantee perfect accuracy,” Song said. “Navigation satellites are the best military-civilian product [cooperation]The value of their applications and market space is huge. “

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– CNN Shanshan Wang contributed to this article.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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