Image: By Joseph Christian Leyendecker – Public Domain,

The movie “Patton” has the general saying at one point “Rommel, you magnificent bastard. I read your book!” as a way of explaining Patton’s ability to understand, anticipate, counter, and defeat the enemy.

The line is likely pure Hollywood, but does convey that Patton studied and understood the enemy. A good sound bite, though, that has resonance and is popular among military and national security professionals. A great reminder of the importance of paying attention to what one’s adversary is doing and saying.

What’s New: A Chinese paper from last year we recently found describing that nation’s PNT efforts and how they could be even more effective and comprehensive.

Why It’s Important: It is another example of a secretive society speaking openly about its PNT tech and plans, fundamentals for national security and prosperity.

  • This paper includes discussion of PNT capability:
    • At GEO, MEO, and LEO
    • In deep space
    • That is ground-based (LF & VLF systems), and
    • For deep sea navigation
  • Under President Xi, China has moved from being a competitor with the U.S. to being an adversary.
    • Xi wants to complete “the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” by 2027. – China was the world’s most advanced civilization for 5,000 before it was beaten down by the West. They want back on top.
    • GPS/PNT was the source of “unforgettable humiliation” for China. They are now far ahead of the U.S. – President Xi could easily see GPS and PNT as a vector for humbling the U.S. in return.

What Else To Know:

  • This seems to be an academic paper discussing existing projects as well as systems that could be added.
  • China’s High-precision Ground-based Timing System has been well documented in open-source publications.
  • The paper says some things about U.S. efforts in PNT resilience that are just not true.

From what we have seen so far, the U.S. government has not been reading China’s book(s) on PNT and resilience. We have not been reasoning out China’s next steps for threatening or disabling critical infrastructure, and advancing its place in the world. Unlike Patton, no one seems to be trying to understand the enemy so as to outflank them.


Development trends of the national secure PNT system based on BDS

Yuanxi YANG1,2*, Xia REN1,2, Xiaolin JIA1,2 & Bijiao SUN1,2 – 1 State Key Laboratory of Geo-Information Engineering, Xi’an 710054, China;
2 Xi’an Research Institute of Surveying and Mapping, Xi’an 710054, China

Received April 10, 2022; revised November 24, 2022; accepted January 19, 2023; published online April 6, 2023

Abstract: Satellite navigation systems are vulnerable. To guarantee the positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) safety of core infrastructure, it is necessary to establish a secure PNT system with hybrid physical principles. In this paper, the augmentations of the BeiDou satellite system (BDS) itself are analysed, namely augmentations through the BDS inter-satellite link, BDS geostationary orbit (GEO) and inclined geostationary orbit (IGSO) satellites, and BDS PNT services supported by low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Then, taking BDS as the core component, the comprehensive PNT infrastructure seamlessly covering deep space and deep ocean is described, consisting of the deep space PNT constellation, the sea-floor PNT sonar beacon network, and the ground-based low frequency and very low frequency (VLF) long wave radio stations. Moreover, the key technologies of resilient PNT application matching comprehensive PNT and various autonomous perception PNT information are discussed, such as resilient PNT sensor integration, the resilient PNT functional model and the resilient stochastic model. As a future development direction, the key factors of intelligent PNT services are analysed, including the intelligent perception of PNT application scenes, the intelligent optimization of PNT functional and stochastic models and the intelligent fusion of multisource PNT information.