China will send 10 satellites to join the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) through seven separate launches this year, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced Tuesday.
The launches will help complete the BDS global network by 2020, said Shang Zhi, director of the Space Department of the CASC, at a press conference, where the Blue Book of China Aerospace Science and Technology Activities was released.
According to the blue book, a total of 18 BeiDou satellites were launched in 2018, marking the completion of the BDS-3 primary system. The navigation system has started to provide global service.
As an important achievement during the past 40 years of reform and opening-up, the BDS has also been widely used to serve China's economic development.
More than 6,000 fishing boats in the eastern province of Zhejiang have been installed with the BDS ship movement monitoring system, which helps them improve positioning accuracy and promptness, according to the blue book.
About 6.17 million vehicles, 35,000 postal and express delivery vehicles and 80,000 buses in 36 major cities have been installed or are compatible with the BDS. The system is also used in homemade civilian aircraft, it says.
China Post has equipped its postal vehicles with 30,000 BDS terminals and connected them with the BDS-based information management platform. E-commerce giant JD.com also arms 1,500 logistics vehicles and 2,000 couriers with smart BDS terminals, according to the blue book.
The BDS is also widely used to serve the country's agricultural production. An automatic driving system for agricultural vehicles has been put into large-scale application across the country, while the farming supervision platform based on the navigation system has served more than 50,000 farm machines and facilities.