BeiDou is a Chinese satellite navigation system consisting of both geosychronous satellites and satellites in global orbit.

Chinese satellite system

The first BeiDou satellite was launched in 2000 and the system has since been developed in three stages; the first stage with coverage over China, the second stage extended the coverage area to Asia and the Pacific region and the third stage involves a satellite navigation system with global coverage.

In mid-2020 it was announced that stage three in the development of BeiDou was completed. The system has 24 satellites in global orbit, three geostationary satellites and three geosynchronous satellites with inclination.

The BeiDou satellites that go in global orbit around the earth orbit at about 21,550 kilometres above the earth's surface in six different orbital planes with a 55.5-degree inclination. Geostationary satellites are located above the equator and follow the earth's rotation and are thus geosynchronous satellites with zero inclination. A geosynchronous satellite can also have an inclination and then orbit up and down over the equator.

BeiDou uses the China Geodetic Coordinate System 2000.

More information

Read more about BeiDou on the official website (new window).

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