Technology like BeiDou speeds up the blending of many disciplines
In the past, Zhao Long, an employee at a railroad signal workshop, would stress out about the well-being of the maintenance staff during the annual Spring Festival holiday because of the increased passenger and train traffic caused by the travel rush.
Zhao’s fears have been allayed by the introduction of a personnel protection system supported by the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) in advance of the Spring Festival this year.
Positioning, navigation, and international search and rescue are just some of the many uses for China’s homegrown BDS.
Maintenance workers carrying terminal devices along the rails can now be tracked in real time thanks to the new system. The on-site maintenance team can be directed by operators in the workshop via video or voice commands. Zhao, who has worked in the signal workshop in the province of Guizhou in southwest China for ten years, explained that the terminal sounds an alarm if employees leave a restricted area. According to the authors, “Workers’ safety can be better protected by the new system.” According to Yi Pei, sales manager of BeiDou’s business division at Hi-Target International Group Limited, the new system integrates high-precision positioning technology, electronic fence technology based on GIS, train navigation terminal, the Internet of Things, and other high-tech features, providing protection for train stations, locomotives, and workers. The new system has been implemented at over 600 train stations, and it now extends to cover over 10,000 kilometres of rail. Yi noted that the number of active terminals is above 15,000.
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The agriculture industry has also made use of BeiDou navigation technology. Completely automated corn harvesting has been achieved with the help of large harvesters in Botou City, Hebei Province, north China. The director of the city’s agricultural and rural affairs bureau, Li Tielian, stated that the city has more than 200 sets of intelligent agricultural machinery, including drones, sprayers, seeders, tractors, and harvesters, all of which are equipped with BeiDou navigation system. The traffic police have been able to better collect evidence, send out rescue teams, and analyse data thanks to BeiDou’s positioning technology. Transportation, energy, agriculture, communications, meteorology, natural resources, ecological environment, emergency response, and disaster relief are just some of the many fields that have benefited from the in-depth integration of BeiDou with big data, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence. The BDS has accelerated into widespread use, as stated in the white paper “China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System in the New Era,” published in November 2022. The white paper estimated that by 2021, China’s satellite navigation and positioning service industry had a total output value of about 470 billion yuan (roughly 69.24 billion U.S. dollars).
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