China claims it has developed a quantum radar that can detect stealth aircraft

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

State-owned defense specialist China Electronics Technology Group Corporation at the biennial Zhuhai Airshow last week showed off a prototype of what it claims is an advanced quantum radar capable of detecting stealth aircraft.

Traditional radar works by sending out a beam of electromagnetic energy which bounces off an object in its path. The reflected signal is then used to determine the object’s position. “Stealth” aircraft use angular shapes to deflect those signals away from radar equipment or special materials to absorb them, making them appear invisible to radar.

As The Drive explains, a quantum radar more or less does the same thing but uses photons that are “entangled” after a single beam of light is split in half. Only one of the split beams is sent out, the other “stays home.” Thanks to the bizarre behavior of quantum entanglement, the “at home” beam exhibits the same tendencies as the beam sent out which, in theory, would allow the system to observe what happens to the other beam without it having to come back to base.

The group claims it has been working on the technology for years and first tested it in 2015.

Naturally, there are plenty of skeptics. Alan Woodward, a professor of physics at the U.K.’s University of Surrey, told New Scientist that without being able to take the lid off what has been shown, they can’t determine if it is the real deal or an elaborate hoax. It is the Chinese government, after all.

Thumbnail via Getty Images

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Capaill

TS Evangelist
From my weak understanding of stealth planes and radar signatures, I thought that a stealth plane had a signature the size of a bird which the radar would filter out. Which means that the plane is being detected but ignored. I always wondered why the radar filters couldn't be changed to look for birds that are doing Mach 2.
 

skywalk

TS Rookie
Never understood why they do not link radars together, if you send a beam of electromagnetic energy and it bounce of an object and is dispersed elsewhere, but that beam doesn`t just die, its still there, a mesh of radar should be able to pickup lost electromagnetic energy...!? It doesnt bounce back to the radar location but is diverted somewhere else...
 

skywalk

TS Rookie
They can use wifi routers signals and diverted/affected wifi signals to determine that a person is in a room without looking or knowing what is in that room, but they cant do that with a radar, hard to beleive...
 

skywalk

TS Rookie
But it doesnt matter, USA have yet to reveal to the world that they possess Alien reverse engineered tech or maybe it isnt reversed engineered tech and was designed by scientists. Im from canada, close the USA border (15mins) and I have seen Triangle UFO a couple times, one time it was so low I could thrown a rock at it, totaly silent, almost invisible to the eye, no combustion engine, most amazing 10 secs of my life. And im certain there was no green alien inside, so its obviously american, they have that tech, so detecting stealth doesnt matter... tahts why USA dont care to bully any state, they have tech taht nobody has yet and one day they will use it and its going to be ugly.
 
I

iamcts

But it doesnt matter, USA have yet to reveal to the world that they possess Alien reverse engineered tech or maybe it isnt reversed engineered tech and was designed by scientists. Im from canada, close the USA border (15mins) and I have seen Triangle UFO a couple times, one time it was so low I could thrown a rock at it, totaly silent, almost invisible to the eye, no combustion engine, most amazing 10 secs of my life. And im certain there was no green alien inside, so its obviously american, they have that tech, so detecting stealth doesnt matter... tahts why USA dont care to bully any state, they have tech taht nobody has yet and one day they will use it and its going to be ugly.
This could pass as a Trump tweet since it has so many random thoughts packed into one comment.
 

Eldritch

TS Maniac
Ofcourse, its China. Totally reliable and propaganda free. /s
This may very well be a ruse to throw of R&D of rivals in a wild goose chase or just simply posing to show that they are big boys now by using cool hip words.

Also, weren't legion of drones the future of aerial combat instead of expensive, bulky stealth planes or did I not get the memo again?
 
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xxLCxx

TS Addict
Any nation able in bringing satellites up can easily detect "stealth" planes. This is simple physics.
Stealth aircraft are as much of a pricey fib as submarines. You'd be surprised how fast they would be gone, if you picked a fight with someone your own size. ;-)
 

gamerk2

TS Evangelist
From my weak understanding of stealth planes and radar signatures, I thought that a stealth plane had a signature the size of a bird which the radar would filter out. Which means that the plane is being detected but ignored. I always wondered why the radar filters couldn't be changed to look for birds that are doing Mach 2.
Because the radar can't detect said bird against the background noise in the environment. That's basically how "stealth" works in a nutshell; a small radar cross-section cuts down the range the plane can be detected by most radar systems, as they can't distinguish the radar return signal against the background noise in the environment.

It's a basic RF problem; more background noise requires a signal to be output at higher power to be detected.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
Ofcourse, its China. Totally reliable and propaganda free. /s
This may very well be a ruse to throw of R&D of rivals in a wild goose chase or just simply posing to show that they are big boys now by using cool hip words.

Also, weren't legion of drones the future of aerial combat instead of expensive, bulky stealth planes or did I not get the memo again?
Yep, just like the cold war. We develop an a-bomb, they develop an a-bomb. We develop a hydrogen bomb, they develop a hydrogen bomb.
In the 60's, the USA was afraid of the soviet union SAM batteries, so they built the XB-70 mach 3 bomber. The soviets, concerned their missiles wouldn't be able to catch the XB-70's, spent countless dollars building a Mach 3 interceptor, the Mig-25. When the west got wind of the Mig-25 (which was routinely walking away from F-4 Phantoms), they tooled up to build the F-15 Eagle. The XB-70 was canceled (MIRV ICBM's replaced it before it was fielded). The west got to look at a Mig25 in the early 70's when a Chinese pilot defected to the west, landed in Japan with a Mig-25 and all the books. They found out it was just a piece of junk, with two huge engines that pretty much had to be rebuilt if they were pushed to their capability.
The east/west does this all the time.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
I would be surprised if, just like Russia and their recent claims of hypersonic missles, is anything other than a load of propagandist :poop:

Entanglement, not to mention over the distances that this would require, is still technically only done with extreme difficulty. Even with this announcement coming out of China last year - https://www.sciencealert.com/physicists-just-quantum-entangled-photons-between-earth-and-space
I am highly skeptical. It is one thing to transmit and receive entangled photons, another altogether to turn them into a system that is capable of acting like radar.

For those interested - https://phys.org/news/2018-04-quantum-radar-expose-stealth-aircraft.html
It appears that there was a similar announcement about two-years ago https://www.popsci.com/china-says-it-has-quantum-radar-what-does-that-mean
So maybe this is just rinse-repeat with little substance.
 

Rock Dirty

TS Member
But it doesnt matter, USA have yet to reveal to the world that they possess Alien reverse engineered tech or maybe it isnt reversed engineered tech and was designed by scientists. Im from canada, close the USA border (15mins) and I have seen Triangle UFO a couple times, one time it was so low I could thrown a rock at it, totaly silent, almost invisible to the eye, no combustion engine, most amazing 10 secs of my life. And im certain there was no green alien inside, so its obviously american, they have that tech, so detecting stealth doesnt matter... tahts why USA dont care to bully any state, they have tech taht nobody has yet and one day they will use it and its going to be ugly.
The truth is out there...
 

Brahman05

TS Member
But it doesnt matter, USA have yet to reveal to the world that they possess Alien reverse engineered tech or maybe it isnt reversed engineered tech and was designed by scientists. Im from canada, close the USA border (15mins) and I have seen Triangle UFO a couple times, one time it was so low I could thrown a rock at it, totaly silent, almost invisible to the eye, no combustion engine, most amazing 10 secs of my life. And im certain there was no green alien inside, so its obviously american, they have that tech, so detecting stealth doesnt matter... tahts why USA dont care to bully any state, they have tech taht nobody has yet and one day they will use it and its going to be ugly.
The truth is out there...
Yeah, its 'out there' all right. Far out man.
 
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Capaill

TS Evangelist
This is pure guesswork on my part:
Generate an entangled pair of photons. Send one photon out and monitor the local photon. If the state of the local photon changes, that means the other photon bounced off something. In the article I linked above, they generated 6 million entangled photon pairs a second so it's conceivable that you could fill the skies with photons and monitor the local ones. After that it's all down to computers and AI to track everything.

I like the last paragraph in the article:
Marquardt and others suspect, however, that this field could be much further advanced than has been publicly acknowledged, with developments possibly hidden behind veils of official secrecy in the U.S. and elsewhere. It may be that the era of quantum communication is already upon us. “Some colleague of mine made the joke, ‘the silence of the U.S. is very loud,’” Marquardt says. “They had some very good groups concerning free-space satellites and quantum key distribution at Los Alamos [National Laboratory] and other places, and suddenly they stopped publishing. So we always say there are two reasons that they stopped publishing: either it didn’t work, or it worked really well!”
 
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netman

TS Evangelist
"Naturally, there are plenty of skeptics. Alan Woodward, a professor of physics at the U.K.’s University of Surrey, told New Scientist that without being able to take the lid off what has been shown, they can’t determine if it is the real deal or an elaborate hoax. It is the Chinese government, after all."

A typical western scholar response to eastern technologies!
 
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psycros

TS Evangelist
"Naturally, there are plenty of skeptics. Alan Woodward, a professor of physics at the U.K.’s University of Surrey, told New Scientist that without being able to take the lid off what has been shown, they can’t determine if it is the real deal or an elaborate hoax. It is the Chinese government, after all."

A typical western scholar response to eastern technologies!
Considering how often the Chinese lie about their capabilities, I think the skepticism is justified. China is a paper tiger. The minute that the US completes it's anti-ICBM net those fake islands in international waters will be getting an eviction notice. China will comply because if they don't we'll simply bring all the manufacturing jobs back home, leave them holding all that US debt and start buying our rare earths from Afghanistan. If they stupidly try to go the blackmail route by threatening Japan or S Korea the free world will annihilate them and China will become the world's largest democracy in a single generation. That's probably one of the global elite's contingencies.
 
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Underdog

TS Addict
Dream on. The money men won't be bringing any manufacturing jobs back home because the local workforce won't work for peanuts.