Quest China’s Compass navigation system: top secret to the last 20 years of civil
China Newsweek Cover: Compass mind. 2010 年 1 月 16 afternoon, satellite and the rocket before launch for testing. 2010 年 11 16, the Eighth China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Guangdong Zhuhai opening, on behalf of “Compass” world of one satellite project unveiled at the show running sand table. 2010 年 12 17, No. 7 Compass navigation satellite pre-launch satellite rocket docking. December 18, No. 7 Compass navigation satellite successfully into space.
– Quest Chinese Compass satellite navigation system
about four years ago, the U.S. military began to be known as “Global Positioning System” (GPS) of the development. Now, we head over about 20,000 km in Earth orbit, GPS systems deployed 24 satellites, ground stations for the satellite information data capture, processing, decoding, and information sent to the user terminal – This, GPS to provide accurate global positioning, velocity and high-precision time standard.
Today, GPS is already indispensable in our lives – airplanes, automobiles, ships use it to navigate; public security, finance, fire department use it to monitor and alarm; and many Luchi friends travel by car, often to the courage it must have accompanied … …
occupied 95% of the Chinese in the GPS satellite navigation and positioning in the market today, one can not help but imagine the often disturbing – if the United States at a critical moment people turn off the GPS, or in the above “fixed point something”, how to do our strategic weapons? How to do our plane? Our Luchi how they do? In fact, it has not just imagination and fear, but there are precedents to follow – In 1996, when tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the Chinese army’s large-scale military exercises will have been subjected to interruption of GPS signal interference.
based on the above concerns, the world’s major countries and groups of countries began to consider measures, was born in Russia’s GLONASS, the European Union’s Galileo satellite navigation system and so on. From the late 1980s, ahead of Chinese scientists have begun to develop China’s own commitment to “GPS”. At the time, weak economic foundation of China, the dream is still very small space and low-key. This was named “Compass” program, did not focus on the beginning of the birth of the world.
Initially, Chen Fangyun Chinese scientists proposed a different binary and GPS positioning theory to solve the difficult times in the financial system to build grand challenges. Compass of the grand plan, so the General Staff of Surveying and Mapping Bureau Guest House in a small three-office quietly began. With the Chinese spirit of exploration and pragmatic attitude, Compass plans after twists and turns, profound knowledge, and finally, in 2000, a Compass test satellite was launched into space to orbit.
Today, Compass system has successfully launched seven satellites, the dream is gradually grow plump. According to current plans, the Compass system is expected in 2012 launched a total of 12 working satellites, complete service covering the region target; 2020, Compass will launch five geostationary satellites and 30 non-geostationary orbit satellites, a to global satellite navigation system to provide services.
from the original “top secret”, to promote to the civilian market today, Compass program has gone through 20 years, but it’s still few people know the story. Recently, “China News Weekly,” an exclusive interview with Compass program participants and the initial core team of scientists uncover its mystery. Around this ambitious space program, our readers about the Big Dipper to the legendary story of the team, resolve it in the field of military and civilian value, but also showing the beauty and the hardship it faced the prospect of co-existence.
from Beijing North Third Ring Road a regular guest on the third floor that simple small “guerrillas” office, to the vastness of the universe in seven Compass today navigation satellite, the Compass program has witnessed China’s space industry ideals and frustrations, hardships and glory
71-year-old Bo Qingjun a Banjiu book. He carefully opened, tucked out of a newspaper, “You see this is not the United States and China negotiated that one?” If you do not wear glasses, septuagenarian Bo Qingjun no way to see the text on the newspaper , but by virtue of the shape of newspaper clippings, he still remembered the above content.
these clippings are reported on the Compass navigation satellite, the satellite was successfully launched from the new China-US talks, he are all cut, treasure them.
a quarter of a century ago, Chinese scientists started to develop China’s own satellite navigation system. Later, the Chinese self-developed by the navigation system was named “Compass.” This program from the initial “top secret” until now gradually extended to civilian has gone through 20 years. The main scientists who have become white-haired fellow, founder of Compass system theory has passed away.
in more than 20 years, Bo Qingjun a staff grown from PLA General Staff Secretary of Surveying and Mapping, and then become the current retirees. As founder of the project, he remembered things for 20 years.
1985, the Bo Qingjun invited to participate in Washington organized by the “GPS use Global Positioning Systems International Symposium.”
“That meeting in 1985 of April 15 to 18.” Despite the past two decades, Bo Qingjun still remember the specific date. Before departure, in astronomy the earth professional Boqing Jun already know the GPS function and development. However, foreign experts to speak at the meeting allows the Boqing Jun increased vigilance.
the U.S. GPS system was born in 1973, organized by the U.S. Department of Defense research and development. At that seminar, in addition to the prospect of introduction and use of GPS, the U.S. military told the participants, GPS coding is divided into military and civilian two. In exceptional circumstances, in order to ensure national security, the military will take three measures to deal with emergency situations: First, reduce each other’s navigation accuracy; second, at any time transform coding; third, the regional management. In other words, the above three ways, the U.S. military can limit the use of domestic and foreign users of GPS.
“These meetings are open to say I understand them, you feel that if we rely on this, then we do not have to be controlled by others.” Boqing Jun “China News Weekly” correspondent recalls.
according to information available, Boqing Jun writing a report, which wrote, “For the development and application of GPS to follow-up study, at the same time to develop China’s own satellite navigation system.”
But this is only a dream, how to carry out specific studies, no clue.
That same month, Bo Qingjun invited to participate in another seminar. Chen Fangyun Chinese scientists at the meeting made a very innovative at the time to listen to the speech – “the use of two ground positioning satellites can solve problems”, was later reduced to “double-star positioning.” Bo Qingjun sitting in the hall, suddenly realized that this seems to be used to carry out China Navigation System. He found when he was deputy director of National Defense, Shen Rongjun, spoke about his ideas. They hit it off.
be encouraged Boqing Jun Chen Fangyun go directly home. In explaining his purpose in coming after, Chen Fangyun told him, “In fact, we ourselves have studied for two years.” As a renowned electronics expert, Chen Fangyun and other colleagues for two years of research into the future, “Compass program,” the foundation theory.
after the initial communication, Chen Fangyun Boqing Jun introduce this theory began to be research scientists. They in a hotel near Beijing Huangsi organized a theoretical explanation will be. “We all feel that we can, we decided to begin preparations for the feasibility study.” Boqing Jun said.
the second year in March, Boqing Jun countries start drafting the report request binary positioning systems. A month later, by the national authorities of the feasibility study will be held. “Really a lot of people who attended the meeting. Ministry of Railways, Telecommunications Bureau, Ministry of Forestry have gone.” Boqing Jun tone of a turn, “but very little support, or pour cold water on the more.”
It put forward three questions: First, since there are GPS, why do we have to engage in this double-star positioning? Second, we can achieve the level of technology? Third, we have the economic strength?
“We are really talking about real issues. From the beginning to the later discussion many times, have different ideas now think back, I am very grateful to these views, we must be very careful.” Boqing Jun said.
participants questions are not without reason. U.S. GPS system developed since 1973, has spent billions of dollars, and promised to provide global services. At a time when China, out of the Cultural Revolution is still less than a decade, the national economy is still hardship among the human and material resources are extremely scarce.
meeting a lively and even heated discussion, debate, and ultimately, everyone from the national strategy and national security point of view the special period, recognizing the importance of self-developed navigation systems, and satellite measurements by means of national defense , the importance of research and development. Soon, the team involved in R & D are listed in the original 17 major test projects.
After that, from 1986 until 1994, eight years, these scientists have been immersed in the theory of deduction and special experiments.
satellite full of mystery for most ordinary people.
“In fact, before the war, when the satellite is equivalent to the message tree in a high-ground tree species, Japanese Devils on the Doorstep, people put the tree pulled down the other side of the people can seen. “Compass navigation system project chief engineer, known as China’s” Satellite “Father of the scientists Chia-Tung Shun,” China News Weekly, “told reporters,” This is the information transfer. satellite in addition to two functions, namely access to information and navigation. “
use of satellite navigation is the most complex of these problems. According to the scientists calculated that if the earth around the launch of 24 satellites, the formation of three different orbital plane, woven into a network, then no matter when and where people can also see the four stars. U.S. GPS system is based on the principle of development.
with this, the Chinese scientist Chen Fangyun proposed double-star positioning is done using only two satellites to locate the most basic functions. “This is according to China’s needs and economic strength of the set,” Chia-Tung Shun said, “It was just the Chinese reform and opening up, economic strength is not enough. And, then, do not need to design a system for the global.”
As a result, scientists have begun working on only for China’s domestic satellite navigation system. Since 1986, it agreed after the meeting, began the research project navigation to different departments for their research funding. However, the Compass program, officially approved, until 1994.
1994, all basically completed the preliminary feasibility studies, project expert group to start writing applications. Because measurement is the positioning direction, one of China’s navigation program was named “Compass.”
project work has not been easy.
first encountered resistance from the R & D scientists plagued the beginning of the financial implications. In 1995, Compass plans to report to the State Council departments. This program was made the State Department instructions. “Instruction, said the plan is important, but also said the money might not be so many, is not it can consider engaging in pre-research.” Boqing Jun “China News Weekly” correspondent recalls.
so-called pre-research, is a small amount of state funds allocated for pre-trial research, but does not provide sufficient funds to ensure completion of the project.
that the instructions, Boqing Jun sit still. That evening, he gave the leadership of national authorities make a telephone call. On the phone, he said earnestly, “we may engage in longer pre-research, this project has come this far, and if equal engage in pre-research on this project ruined.”
Wang Tongye the leaders on the phone to persuade him not to worry. Regular meeting of the leaders after two days, he will Boqing Jun said the idea of ??the phone to you, we think it should try to negotiate after a formal project application.
that time, China has identified the other two satellite programs, two programs were indicators of a backup satellite. After deliberation, we decided to sing the first two scheduled backup plan to use the index points to the Big Dipper. “We have two satellite program and discuss the team many times, if you play (satellite) is successful, you do not need a backup satellite. Pounding, you have to continue to find the problem Yeah, so, you give us a good use.” China’s satellite navigation pioneer and founder of the Compass program vice president of engineering division Tanshu Sen smiled, “China News Weekly” reporter recalls.
such maneuvers on the initial project plan makes the Compass no longer need a separate allocation of funds, this new satellite navigation program was finally able to officially approved. At this point, the U.S. GPS system has gone through fast two decades, the overall distribution network system has been completed, started to provide services to the world. Russia developed its own navigation system GLONASS has been in construction.
to conduct feasibility studies in 1985, China Aerospace Science and Technology of the five branches of Compass has been planned as the design of satellites. When the Compass program after the formal project, happened to catch up with the spacecraft “Shenzhou” plan launched. As a result, the task suddenly increased. In this context, the relevant departments would like to work Compass plans to move to Shanghai.
and if moved to Shanghai, the study of basic needs to start over.
“This is the second half of 1995 to do this year … ah …” back to that episode, many parties inevitably sighed. At the time, this adjustment did not discuss with the General Staff Department of Surveying and Mapping Bureau. Bo Qingjun know, the PLA directly to the Deputy Chief of Staff when he was secretary of Cao make a telephone call, “Deputy Chief of you with the CAO to report that this adjustment can not agree, or put the plans ruined.”, The Bo Qingjun and straight Cao, statements relocation of the disadvantages, understanding and support for the head.
to Shanghai’s plans to eventually not implemented. At this point, experts have gradually been transferred to Beijing. However, these studies vastness of the universe, scientists did not even a proper office. “At the time the house is very tight, to the people are guerrilla.” Compass system, said deputy chief Tan Shusen. Compass plans first office on the establishment of the General Staff of Surveying and Mapping Bureau Guest House of the third floor.
“Even I now half the size of this office have not.” Tanshu Sen pointed to his 40 square-meter room said. His arrival, when the office a total of five people, only a small space will only put the desk.
not only the lack of office facilities, and personnel. Bo Qingjun worked with principals to discuss the Harbin Institute of Technology, Compass that the other party for a few doctoral programs. Each other very readily, “You pick people who are willing to go, I release.” Bo Qingjun quickly sent to the Harbin Institute of Technology, doctoral candidates will each come to ask two questions, “How much treatment? Can do to solve the housing ? “
and doctoral students in their negotiations with the same time, come to recruit a company in Guangdong, the treatment is the monthly salary of five thousand, the other to provide a housing. A month later, Bo Qingjun of men did not hire a Ph.D., only four or five undergraduate students willing to travel to Beijing.
leaders feel the need to solve the housing problem, otherwise there is no way to attract talent. As a result, began to cover the one hand, dormitory, on the other hand began to go to the Beijing Municipal Planning Bureau, proposed the establishment of Compass program terminus demand for land. Planning Bureau is very generous, said, “You are confidential unit. Shunyi there to piece, we arranged.” Executive leadership that far, not satisfied. The other said, “it River north of the piece can be.”
“on the way we want.”
“In fact, I already have seen, we chose Well, on the ground. “Today, Bo Qingjun” China News Weekly “correspondent recalled smiling. However, the vicinity has been completed on the plan can not be changed. Bo Qingjun on and near the space city is located on the ground head coordination in the case of shared water, set aside the land as near the work area and two living areas.
remember it was January 16, 1997, from the New Year three days, Compass Centre, ground infrastructure funding is also finalized.
in decision-making levels of command for this project bustle, while Compass R & D team of scientists has been engaged in their work. They set themselves the goal is to “protect eight fight seven” – the first satellite launch time guarantee in 1998, for early 1997.
but all the more complex than envisaged.
Compass system as the cornerstone of the theory of double-star positioning, then the third point on the ground need to have accurate ground elevation, the ground level of the distribution of accurate data. For scientists, the elevation data is a very large number of projects. “We have three decades of mass mapping data, but the information is paper, and must all be digital.” Surveying and Mapping Bureau of the General Staff, a senior expert recalled, “which requires a powerful computer, but at that time, have such computer is very difficult. “
mapping in the General Staff Major General Secretary Yuanshu You remember, the huge number of works from the 1996′s. “At that time our galaxy computer can not meet demand, experts still recommend buying foreign equipment.” Yuanshu You “China News Weekly,” told reporters. Finally, the introduction of the computer giant Compass program.
Compass system in preparation for the beginning, these scientists are already familiar with GPS for their request. “Navigation accuracy is high, have their own innovation.” Compass system, said deputy chief Tan Shusen. He was referring to innovation, is the Compass system is unique, GPS does not have a short message communication function.
“This 120-word text message function is sometimes very important, users can contact each other, such as earthquake, when all communications are cut off, rescue teams will rely on this function.” An academician Experts truthfully “China News Weekly,” said.
In addition, scientists have also developed a standard navigation reaction in 5 seconds must be feedback. “In fact, five seconds will feel a long time, we must proceed from a user perspective, if after a few minutes without navigation display, then you sure that this machine is broken, so from the beginning, our development of a 5-second standard.” Tan Shusen said.
To achieve these standards, Compass satellite launch was delayed for two years. Until October 2000, the first Compass satellite navigation system was officially put into orbit. In this six months ago, the founder of the theory of Chen Fangyun Compass system has died.
“when he died, I went to his home. Well …” Bo Qingjun old man sighed. Chen Fangyun ultimately failed to see their theory into reality.
after a lapse of two months, the second satellite was successfully launched. At the moment, from the theories, to launch a satellite into space, the Compass program has gone through 15 years.
idea in the first double-star positioning to achieve the same time, Compass chief engineer Sun Jiadong start their own concerns on the table. “It was worried that if the two stars which have a bad how do I feel this is very difficult, in any case have to report to the leadership.” Chia-Tung Shun the “China Newsweek” correspondent recalls. So, after application, and replacement of two backup satellite. And all seems well in advance of the time, trouble descends again. Compass interface between Phase I and II of a satellite after a successful launch all off a sudden, completely scrapped. To this end, the research team to urgently formulate a project called “Tarzan plan” program, this work continued until the end of the year, in order to ensure Big Dipper and the two plan a smooth transition.
2003 began in December, the official opening of Compass system began to provide services to domestic users. As a means of measurement technology, although the Compass system applications, like GPS is far better than perfect, but in the past has been dependent on GPS timing and navigation users, began more than a choice – which in the long run, either from the national strategy level, or level of economic interests, are of great significance.
2007 In February, Compass will hold a second demonstration, the leadership still has a lot to retirement will participate. The meeting, announced after an expert assessment, when the distribution network of 12 satellites is complete, the Compass system may reach an annual output of 50 billion.
Today, the Chinese military navigation and timing from the GPS method has been gradually converted to the Big Dipper, and finance, electric power, fishery and forest fire prevention and other private areas are gradually trying to use Compass system. December 18, 2010, the seventh successful launch of Compass System satellites. Currently, the Compass system into a satellite launch distribution network peak. According to plan, by 2020, Compass and GPS will be the same as a service to the global satellite navigation system. Contributed to mankind, “Sinan,” the Chinese nation through the Compass program, enter the location and timing of the aerospace era. ★
(Meng Jia Liu Yanping interns also contributed to this article)
1 2 3 4 under a