South Korea to build its own navigation named Korean Positioning System

Sarah Carter

Sarah Carter · 06 February 2018


South Korea will build its own navigation satellite system by 2034, providing independent positioning and navigation signals over an area spanning a 1,000 kilometre radius from the country’s capital, Seoul. KPS is being built in order to augment and complement existing global systems such as the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) nationally and regionally, and to create a strategically autonomous positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) capability. According to Business Korea report, the Ministry of Science and ICT is planning to finalise the third space development promotion plan including the construction of the ‘Korean Positioning System’ (KPS) at a Space Committee meeting. A total of seven navigation satellites including three geostationary ones will be launched and operated for the construction of the KPS. The ministry is planning to provide overseas navigation satellites’ complementing and unique signals to a 1,000 km radius of Seoul. It is estimated that it will cost about 2.5 trillion won to build seven KPS satellites. “As the GPS becomes a necessity in everyday life, broken signals for any reason can set off a nationwide chaos,” said an official for satellite navigation at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). The report said that China has been developing its own GPS called “BeiDou" since 2000 to compete with satellite navigation systems led by the United States and Russia among others. Japan also has four GPS satellites including the second unit of ultra-high-precision GPS "Michibiki" launched in June last year. The European Union (EU) also has been building a GPS under the name of the "Galileo project" since 2002.
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