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China tracks fishing boats via Beidou system

China: China”s indigenous satellite navigation system and positioning network, the Beidou Satellite Navigation System, is helping to improve the safety of fishermen after being installed on all fishery patrol vessels, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The number of urgent alerts received by the South China Sea fishery administration, affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture, has reached 200 since the Beidou system was first installed in 2008, according to fishery official Li Ping.

In May this year, a patrol vessel located fishing boats, reportedly being assaulted by foreign armed vessels in the Nansha Islands, with the aid of the Beidou system. The fishing boats were successfully rescued after six hours, Li Ping said.

The Beidou system is currently able to track locations within 25 metres. The system will be able to track locations within accuracy of 10 metres when it is upgraded by the end of 2012, at which point it could exceed the US GPS in the Asia-Pacific region.

A new satellite will be launched at the end of October to join 15 satellites already in orbit.

By 2020, the system will consist of 35 satellites, according to the China Satellite Navigation Office.

Source: China Daily