Compass Testing

BeiDou Satellite System Testing

BeiDou (sometimes known as "Compass") is the name of the Chinese Global Navigation Satellite System. China has indicated it intends to expand the current local geostationary system (BeiDou phase 1) into a fully global medium-earth-orbit GNSS constellation (BeiDou phase 3), via an interim step of a regional system using both geosynchronous (Geo) and inclined Geo (IGSO) satellites. Phase 2, or BeiDou-2, is now operating and the Signal In Space Interface Control Document for the B1 in-phase component was issued at version 1.0 in December 2012.

The first phase of BeiDou, known as BeiDou 1, is an experimental system comprising three payloads on geosynchronous satellites. This phase provides wide area precise positioning and is substantially a China-only system in terms of access and users.

The second phase, BeiDou-2, is not a development of BeiDou 1 but is an entirely new regional system of 5 GEO, 5 IGSO and 4 MEO satellites broadcasting on 3 frequencies. This phase lays the foundation for final stage 3 which is a global system based around 5GEO, 3IGSO and 27MEO satellites which orbiting the earth every 12 hours or so will provide global coverage.

The constellation structure will be similar to the European Galileo network and the ranging signals are based on the CDMA principle, like GPS and Galileo. In line with other GNSS, there will be two levels of positioning service: Open and restricted.

Spirent started shipping BeiDou-ready systems to its customers in 2012. Now that the SIS-ICD has been released, these are being upgraded to full-BeiDou capability.

In addition, Spirent has BeiDou-2 demonstration systems available, including at its offices in Beijing, China. Before the ICD released, Spirent used recorded navigation data to enable its systems to drive a full BeiDou receiver. Now that the ICD information is released, navigation data is generated automatically as with Spirent's GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, IRNSS and QZSS simulation systems.

As well as multi-GNSS, Spirent's BeiDou-2 systems can include such as interference generation, MEMS sensor simulation and systems targeted at transport segments.

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