BeiDou Navigation Satellite System Centre opens in Tunisia

A model of the Beidou satellite navigation system on display during an exhibition in Beijing, September 26, 2017

In what is regarded as the first overseas center for China’s Beidou Satellite Navigation System, the China-Arab Beidou Center, has opened in Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia.

Located in the Jazala Science Park on the northern outskirts of Tunis, the center is established as a pilot project between China and the Tunisia-based Arab Information and Communication Technology Organization (AICTO), an Arab governmental organization under the Arab League, to promote the global application of the BDS. The center will provide personnel training and technological research for Arab nations.

A model of the Beidou satellite navigation system on display during an exhibition in Beijing, September 26, 2017

GNSS is consisting of four main satellite constellations: United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS), European Union’s GNSS called Galileo, Russia’s (GLObalnaya NAvigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema) GLONASS, and China’s BeiDou/COMPASS Navigation Satellite Systems. Significant contribution to world GNSS have Japan’s GNSS Quasi Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) and India’s Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) covering more regional areas.

Independently developed by China, Beidou is the world’s fourth global navigation satellite system following the United States’ GPS, the Russian GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo.

At the unveiling ceremony for China-Arab Beidou Center, Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office said that it will be a platform for promoting international exchanges and cooperation.

“The center could serve as both a window to showcase the BDS, and a platform for promoting international exchanges and cooperation. China will work with the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization to build the Beidou center into a model project, turning it into a link for the Beidou system among China and Arab nations in order to promote technological innovation”, Ran said

Director of China’s Satellite Navigation Office, Ran Chengqi (L front) and Secretary General of Arab Information and Communication Technology Organization Mohamed Ben Amor shake hands during the inauguration ceremony of the China-Arab States BDS/GNSS Center in Tunis, Tunisia, April 11, 2018. The China-Arab States BDS/GNSS Center, the first overseas center for China’s indigenous BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), was officially inaugurated in Tunisia

Mohamed Ben Amor, Secretary-General of the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization, says the organization will strengthen communication and collaboration with China in the field of satellite navigation, as well as bring Beidou-based services to Arab states to enhance social and economic development. the BeiDou pilot project will help train satellite navigation scientists and develop digital economy in Arab countries.

The China-Arab Beidou Center is holding its first satellite navigation training course this week.




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