Table of Contents
What has happened?
- Defence industry engineers in southwestern China have built a small infrared search-and-track system,
- That can pick up the heat signature of a fast-moving aircraft from an unusually long distance, the team says.
- The medium-wave infrared system has detected and tracked civil aircraft from a distance of 285km (177 miles), according to a paper published in the peer-reviewed Chinese journal Infrared and Laser Engineeringon Friday.
About the infrared radar
- It detects heat energy in the infrared spectrum (infrared energy is invisible to the human eye).
- It displays objects based on the temperature of the object.
- Warm temperatures appear in dark shades. Cold temperatures appear in light shades.
- The chief advantage of IR imagery is that it’s not dependent on sunlight.
Why this is most powerful?
- Most infrared cameras cannot see beyond a range of 20km because the relatively long infrared waves – physically equivalent to low-energy light – are easily absorbed by the atmosphere.
- The heat-seeking radar can also emit a powerful laser beam to illuminate the target aircraft to gather more information, such as the number of windows on the plane, according to the researchers.
- Because of its small size, the device can be mounted on a car, aircraft or even satellite for a wide range of applications, including “surveillance, early warning and [missile] guidance.
- Long-distance infrared radar technology plays an important role in anti-stealth warfare.
- Even as a military aircraft equipped with stealth technology can dodge traditional radar, its body and engines emit heat.
Tested in different modes
- In distant target-searching mode, the radar can scan the entire sky in just a few seconds, faster than most existing heat seekers, according to the researchers.
- Liu’s team said it had tested the device in challenging environments, with temperatures varying from minus 40 degrees to 60 degrees Celsius (minus 40-160 degrees Fahrenheit), and its performance remained stable.
- According to the researchers, the enemy would have difficulty locating the radar because it did not emit a signal while in passive mode.
- The device would also have a higher chance of survival in electronic warfare because it was difficult to jam infrared signals with existing technology.
Worry for US & India?
- Countries, including China and the United States, are racing to develop next-generation infrared technology that could affect the outcome of a war.
- These projects include hypersonic heat seeking missiles that can identify and strike a moving target as small as a car,
- And a global early warning system based on low-orbit satellites and airships that can detect the heat produced by a hypersonic weapon from thousands of kilometres away.
Q) Which radiations are used in the treatment of muscle ache?