China’s latest quantum radar could help detect stealth planes, missiles

July 12, 2018

Popular Science:

On June 22, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), China’s foremost military electronics company, announced that its groundbreaking quantum radar has achieved new gains, which could allow it to detect stealth planes.

The CETC claims its system is now capable of tracking high altitude objects, likely by increasing the coherence time entangled photons. CETC envisions that its quantum radar will be used in the stratosphere to track objects in “the upper atmosphere and beyond” (including space).

While conventional radars just measure the reflection of radio waves, a quantum radar uses entangled photons, which result when a microwave signal beam is entangled with an optical idler beam. The microwave beam’s entangled photons bounce off of the target object and back to the quantum radar.

The system compares them with the entangled photons of the optical idler beam. As a result, it can identify the position, radar cross section, speed, direction and other properties of detected objects. Importantly, attempts to spoof the quantum radar would be easily noticed since any attempt to alter or duplicate the entangled photons would be detected by the radar.

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