Other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)

Global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is a general term describing any satellite constellation that provides positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services on a global or regional basis.

While GPS is the most prevalent GNSS, other nations are fielding, or have fielded, their own systems to provide complementary, independent PNT capability. The main ones are described below.

GNSS can also refer to augmentation systems, but there are too many international augmentations to list here.

Some links below lead to external websites that the U.S. government does not control. The links are provided for informational purposes and do not constitute a U.S. government endorsement of any foreign systems, services, or views.

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS)

BeiDou, or BDS, is a regional GNSS owned and operated by the People's Republic of China. China is currently expanding the system to provide global coverage with 35 satellites by 2020. BDS was previously called Compass.

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Galileo is a global GNSS owned and operated by the European Union. The EU declared the start of Galileo Initial Services in 2016 and plans to complete the system of 24+ satellites by 2020.

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GLONASS (Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema, or Global Navigation Satellite System) is a global GNSS owned and operated by the Russian Federation. The fully operational system consists of 24+ satellites.

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IRNSS is a regional GNSS owned and operated by the Government of India. IRNSS is an autonomous system designed to cover the Indian region and 1500 km around the Indian mainland. The system consists of 7 satellites and should be declared operational in 2018. In 2016, India renamed IRNSS as the Navigation Indian Constellation (NavIC, meaning "sailor" or "navigator").

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Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS)

QZSS is a regional GNSS owned by the Government of Japan and operated by QZS System Service Inc. (QSS). QZSS complements GPS to improve coverage in East Asia and Oceania. Japan plans to have an operational constellation of 4 satellites by 2018 and expand it to 7 satellites for autonomous capability by 2023.

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