China and Europe remain at an impasse on the overlap of signals of their two navigation projects, with both sides saying they cannot easily move their planned encrypted government-only services to another spot on the already crowded section of radio spectrum reserved for satellite navigation, government officials said at the Munich Satellite Navigation Summit, held March 1-3 in Munich.

Meanwhile, China continues to deploy its Beidou-Compass constellation, which ultimately is scheduled to include 35 satellites — five in geostationary orbit, three in inclined-geostationary orbit and 27 in medium Earth orbit.

In a presentation delivered to the Munich conference March 2, Chen Gucang, senior engineer at the China Satellite Navigation Office, said five geostationary satellites, five medium Earth spacecraft and four inclined-geostationary satellites have been placed into orbit.

In 2011, he said, four more satellites will be launched. When operational, this 19-satellite system will offer a rudimentary navigation service for the Asia-Pacific region. “System construction is advancing smoothly,” Chen said, adding that Beidou-Compass has been identified by the Chinese government as a strategic industrial priority as part of China’s focus on information technologies.



Europe, China at Impasse on Satellite Navigation

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Peter B. de Selding was the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews.