Shanghai, China - December 8, 2020 – CHC Navigation (CHCNAV). China and Nepal jointly announced today that the height of Mount Everest is 8,868.86 meters. This is a historic moment for CHCNAV since our P5 geodetic GNSS receiver successfully contributed to the peak elevation survey. It also demonstrates CHCNAV's technological success as a major player in the GNSS surveying and mapping industry and confirms BeiDou as a major part of the GNSS systems.
Re-measurement is essential because the height of Everest is constantly changing. The most recent example is the Gorkha earthquake of 2015 - most geologists and scientists agree that Mount Everest may have shrunk by about 3 cm and may have moved southward by a meter or more. Apart from this earthquake, the height is also subject to precipitation, wind and global warming. It is estimated that the peak undergoes tectonic uplift of about 1 cm per year. In addition, the height assessment has also changed with technological progress in surveying technology.
The reason why it is difficult to measure the height of Mount Everest is the presence of extreme temperatures and abnormal atmospheric pressure. At more than 8,800 meters above sea level, with extreme temperatures, below -45°C, and a low atmospheric pressure, only 30 kPa (compared to the normal 101 kPa), every movement of the surveyors is significantly difficult because of their protective clothing against the cold and the lack of oxygen. The operation of the equipment must therefore be as efficient as possible.
In this kind of scenario, people experience the physiological challenge of climbing Mount Everest, following the same logic as the GNSS receiver itself. Efforts to achieve the measurement mission must overcome environmental obstacles. The GNSS receivers, provided by CHCNAV, have already passed rigorous testing and have been optimized to ensure the success of the mission. CHCNAV technical team optimized the receivers to adapt to the extremely low temperature. The CHCNAV R&D department redesigned the lithium-ion batteries to provide 12 hours of operation even at low temperatures, changed the antenna cable materials to a composite to avoid any cracking or signal attenuation.
On May 28, 2020, China's National Geodetic Survey Team conducted the 2020 Mount Everest Elevation Survey. 30 of the 60 points of the GNSS control network have been measured with CHCNAV GNSS receivers, including 3 of the 6 points of intersection of the Everest elevation. The CHCNAV P5 GNSS receiver finally reached the summit and successfully completed its assigned mission.
The results of this surveying mission provide an important data support for the Mount Everest peak elevation survey, as well as an additional input for its ecological and environmental protection, geological survey, monitoring of crustal movement, topographic mapping, etc.