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1. Stephen Chen investigates major research projects in China, a new power house of scientific and technological innovation. He has worked for the Post since 2006. He is an alumnus of Shantou University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Semester at Sea programme which he attended with a full scholarship from the Seawise Foundation.|
The following are excerpts from Stephen Chen's 19 July, 2019 article under the headline "Chinese scientists hail ‘incredible’ stealth breakthrough that may blind military radar systems" and subheading "Researchers at academy of science believe electromagnetic wave model is key that will herald new era in radar detection and avoidance for military ships and aircraft".
Chinese scientists have achieved a series of breakthroughs in stealth materials technology that they claim can make fighter jets and other weaponry lighter, cheaper to build and less vulnerable to radar detection.
Professor Luo Xiangang and colleagues at the Institute of Optics and Electronics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Chengdu, Sichuan province, said they had created the world’s first mathematical model to precisely describe the behaviour of electromagnetic waves when they strike a piece of metal engraved with microscopic patterns, according to a statement posted on the academy’s website on Monday.
With their new model and breakthroughs in materials fabrication, they developed a membrane, known as a meta surface, which can absorb radar waves in the widest spectrum yet reported.
At present, stealth aircraft mainly rely on special geometry – their body shape – to deflect radar signals, but those designs can affect aerodynamic performance. They also use radar absorbing paint, which has a high density but only works against a limited frequency spectrum.
In one test, the new technology cut the strength of a reflected radar signal – measured in decibels – by between 10 and nearly 30dB in a frequency range from 0.3 to 40 gigahertz.
A stealth technologist from Fudan University in Shanghai, who was not involved in the work, said a fighter jet or warship using the new technology could feasibly fool all military radar systems in operation today.
“This detection range is incredible,” the researcher said. “I have never heard of anyone even coming close to this performance. At present, absorbing technology with an effective range of between 4 and 18 GHz is considered very, very good.”
The lower the signal frequency, the longer a radar’s detection range. But detailed information about a moving target can only be obtained with higher frequency radio waves. Militaries typically use a combination of radars working at different frequencies to establish lines of defence.
The Medium Extended Air Defence System, Nato’s early warning radar, operates at a frequency range of 0.3 to 1 GHz. The American Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system, the missile defence radar that caught Beijing’s attention when it was deployed in South Korea in 2017, operates at frequencies around 10 GHz.
Some airports use extremely short-range, high-frequency radars running at 20 GHz or above to monitor vehicle and plane movements on the ground, but even they might not be able to see a jet with the new stealth technology until it is overhead.
“Materials with meta surface technology are already found on military hardware in China, although what they are and where they are used remains largely classified,” the Fudan researcher said.
Luo and his colleagues could not be reached for comment. But according to the academy’s statement and a paper the team published in the journal Advanced Science earlier this year, the stealth breakthroughs were based upon a discovery they made several years ago.
They found that the propagation pattern of radio waves – how they travelled – in extremely narrow metallic spaces was similar to a catenary curve, a shape similar to that assumed by chains suspended by two fixed points under their own weight.
Inspired by catenary electromagnetics, the team developed a mathematical model and designed meta surfaces suitable for nearly all kinds of wave manipulation.
These included energy-absorbing materials for stealth vehicles and antennas that can be used on satellites or military aircraft.
Zhu Shining, a professor of physics specialising in meta materials at Nanjing University, said the catenary model was a “novel idea”.
“The Institute of Optics and Electronics in Chengdu has conducted long-term research in this area which paved a solid foundation for their discoveries. They have done a good job,” Zhu said... (End excerpts)
2. Let us look at Marco Rubio's 27 June 2018 outrageous quote on Chinese investment in the US: "What they don’t steal from us they buy away from us."
His laughable quote can be rephrased in this way: "What they don’t buy away from us, they can steal from us." No wonder Huawei is suing the US over Huawei telecommunications gear. No wonder Huawei is suing Verizon for more than $1 billion over patent licensing fees. No wonder the US bans the sale of Huawei equipment. When you can obtain something through other means, why waste your money buying it?
One lesson Huawei can learn from the US global campaign to strangle the company is this: "When you are willing to sell something to others, they will treat it as dirt. When you refuse to sell something to others, they will treat it as a priceless treasure." Henceforth, Huawei should keep any invention or scientific discovery (e.g. 6G or whatever) as a closely guarded secret.
3. Similarly, China should keep all its scientific discoveries and inventions as state secrets and classified information. In short, it should find out by now that "transparency" in military matters is a threat to national security. Hence the "‘incredible’ stealth breakthrough" should not have even mentioned publicly or released to the press. Such top secrets should never be stored in computers or servers, but must be locked up in the good old-fashioned way in metal cabinets behind series of iron walls in closely-guarded underground rooms. Whatever thing China has discovered should not be used for commercials gains but kept solely for the good of the nation.
Then China will find a lot US spies and "James Bonds" come knocking at its door.