China to develop quantum radar to detect stealth jets

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The late Carl Sagan once said, “Extraordinary allegations require extraordinary evidence. “

And Chinese scientists are reportedly developing new quantum radar technology that could detect stealth planes by creating a small electromagnetic storm, according to a recent study published in the Speed ​​camera log, a peer-reviewed publication based in China, reports the South China Morning Post.

However, this is not the first time that Chinese researchers have made big claims about a functioning quantum radar, and many experts from other countries dispute the very feasibility of such devices, suggesting that it could represent a technological bluff.

So take this with a grain of salt.

China makes big claims on working ‘quantum radar’

Conventional radars have a fixed or rotating dish, but the design of quantum radar is more like a cannon and accelerates electrons to almost the speed of light. Once they pass through a coil tube exposed to strong magnetic fields, the electrons could generate a vortex of microwaves that swirl forward like a horizontal tornado, according to the report. If completed, the new quantum radar system would outperform any radar system of the past, but it’s still a big “if,” according to Zhang Chao of Tsinghua University and his team at the aerospace engineering school. But the potential benefits are worth the hard work, according to the team of scientists. The better the “stealth technology, the higher the gain” of the quantum radar system, they added, in the SCMP report.

However, the fundamental particles used in this man-made electromagnetic storm would exhibit strange properties, the researchers added. In the study, each particle retained a spiraling momentum that did not decrease over time and the distance increased. Einstein’s work speculates that this is not physically possible, but the researchers pointed out that quantum mechanics bypassed the theories of the late physicist, allowing the system to detect targets that conventional radars would never see. And it works not only at long distance, but also in bad weather.

‘Quantum Radar’ Might Actually Be China’s Bluff

If the system really works and is implemented in contested airspace, it could become a significant advantage. Even today, most planes cannot conceal their signature from radar because they reflect electromagnetic waves. Stealth planes like the US’s F-22 Raptor or F-35 fighter jets, for example, absorb much of the radar waves through a special coating material which, combined with minimal right angles in the outer structure of the aircraft. vehicle, can reduce a radar signal to an object the size of a baseball. Stealth technology like this has proven to be a clear advantage over the air power of other countries that mainly rely on 20th century jet fighters devoid of stealth features.

However, in recent years the sensitivity of military radars has increased, perhaps high enough to detect even stealth aircraft. But, in turn, the new metamaterials further improved stealth capabilities, further reducing aircraft visibility. And, if stealth technology continues to improve, some believe it will exceed the detection capabilities of any radar. This is why weapons engineers proposed quantum radar as a potential solution to the detection dilemma more than a decade ago. Chinese military scientists have said they are already testing a prototype quantum radar in 2016, but this has been hotly contested by legitimate scientific authorities. A report published in Scientific journal Last year, he argued that quantum radar may never be deployed for long-range uses like tracking stealth aircraft, as experiments have revealed critical flaws – one of which suggested such devices may not. operate only near absolute zero – which obviously well below the temperature of the Chinese sky. “I am convinced that when [China] announced that their quantum radar was not working, ”said Fabrice Boust, radar specialist and physicist from the French aerospace agency, ONERA, in the 2020 Scientific journal report. “But they knew they would get a reaction.” Well, if that’s what China wants, it works.

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