China has been building and launching an earth-orbiting satellite monitoring system that’s been prompting security concerns among other nations, Trenton Abrego on Homeland 411 reports It’s called the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).
The system is now in its third phase, “which will feature 24 middle-earth orbit satellites, three geostationary satellites, and three inclined geosynchronous orbits. The system currently has 33 satellites in orbit. The plan is to finalize the program in 2020 with 35 satellites in orbit…
“China has a long list of possible uses that BeiDou will provide, those uses include transportation, marine fisheries, hydrological monitoring, weather forecasting, surveying and mapping, forest fire-prevention, emergency search and rescue, and power dispatching.”
But all those satellites also have security implications for the U.S., Abrego reports. Yet, “while the programs look to rival each other, the two countries have cooperated. In May of 2014, China and the United States announced a bilateral government-to-government agreement to cooperate related to compatibility and interoperability according to gps.gov.”