As China develops cutting-edge deep-sea surveillance, the nation’s navy is currently designing a satellite-mounted laser to locate and destroy enemy submarines.
The satellite, which will be able to spot targets 500 meters below the surface, would also be used to gather data on the world’s oceans, the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
The project, dubbed ‘Guanlan, was launched in May at the Pilot National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology in Qingdao, Shandong.
For more than half a century, weapons designers around the globe have been attempting to build a light detection and ranging (lidar) laser that would target submerged submarines.
When a laser beam hits a submarine, some of the light-energy pulses bounce back. Those pulses are detected by sensors and analyzed by software to discern a target’s location, speed and physical dimensions.
The USA and Russia previously attained maximum detection depths of less than 100 meters, SCMP reported.
Research funded by NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have extended that range. For instance, DARPA has developed a device that can be attached to aircraft, detecting targets at depths of at least 200 meters.
Once the new laser device is developed, it will most likely be built by the Xian Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shaanxi province.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point Military News 2018.