Chinese Area Positioning System (CAPS)

The Chinese Area Positioning System (CAPS) is a satellite navigation system proposed and developed by NAOC. Different from the Global Positioning System (GPS), its space component consists of six commercial geostationary (GEO) communication satellites and one inclined geosynchronous orbit (IGSO) communication satellite. The GEO communication satellites are located at longitudes of 51.5°E, 87.5°E, 110.5°E, 134°E, 142°E and 163°E. The first and latter three are decommissioned GEO communication satellites with slight inclination angles (≤ 5°). The navigation messages are generated on the ground and transmitted to the communication satellites with the satellites acting only as transponders. A CAPS receiver not only enables the determination of position, velocity and time, but communications as well. The system has finished its validation phase. It is currently being constructed as an integrated satellite navigation and communication system that can provide navigation and mobile communication services.