China’s biggest arms manufacturer has tested a new instrument to detect stealth aircraft, technology that could be a military “game changer” if mounted on a satellite or plane, scientists say.
China North Industries Group Corporation tested a device capable of generating terahertz radiation with unprecedented power at a military research facility in Chengdu, Sichuan province, last week, Science and Technology Daily reported on Monday.
Terahertz radiation, or T-rays, can penetrate composite materials to reach underlying metallic layers and is widely used in industrial plants to spot product defects.
Terahertz radars are already capable of finding a concealed weapon in a crowd from hundreds of metres away, and a more powerful version is under development to put on an early warning aircraft or satellite to identify and track military aircraft, including the US’ F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.
Attempts to realise military applications for T-ray technology have been limited by the bulk and low power output of terahertz generators. The rays fall on the spectrum between microwaves and light and cannot be produced by conventional radio or optical devices. (end of excerpt)
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