China’s new ‘Super 6G technology’ can penetrate hypersonic missile shield, bolster country’s near-space defense

Not too long ago, China claimed to have created 6G technology that was about a hundred times faster than 5G. This claim seemed too good to be true at the time, considering that only a few countries have started using 5G now.

Now going one step further, Chinese researchers say they have developed a device that far exceeds all previous claims about 6G technology.

They also claim to have demonstrated that a hypersonic weapon can communicate and locate targets using 6G technology, overcoming some of the breakdown issues that occur at speeds five times the speed of sound or faster, a reported SCMP.

According to the team led by Professor Yao Jianquan, one of China’s top laser scientists, the achievement has ramifications for the effectiveness of weapons and defense systems, and could lead to “a major improvement in Chinese defense.” in near space.

On January 25, their experimental article was published in the Journal of the National University of Defense Technology.

With electromagnetic waves, a research team from Tianjin claimed to have “completely penetrated” the plasma shield blocking the signal surrounding a hypersonic missile.

Earlier this month, reports surfaced claiming Chinese researchers had achieved a world-record wireless transmission speed of 206.25 gigabits per second. This could indicate that once it arrives, 6G technology will be up to 100 times faster than 5G, or the fifth generation mobile wireless network, which is still being rolled out in most parts of the world.

Moreover, the latest claims come at a time when the United States, China’s arch-rival, is struggling to test 5G due to aviation interference, as the two use the same band. The United States also does not have an operational hypersonic weapon since three successive tests in the past had ended in failure.

On the other hand, China has made rapid progress in its hypersonic program which has been a rather troubling precedent for the West as well as China’s disenchanted neighbors. If these claims are true, China could have taken a big step in hypersonic and 6G technology programs.

Laser technology for hypersonic weapons

When heated, an ionized gas forms on the surface of a hypersonic weapon and blocks electromagnetic signals due to which the weapon has difficulty communicating with the outside world.

Since ground radar cannot identify and lock onto a hypersonic target behind a plasma shelter, the problem is referred to as a “black barrier”.

Yao and his colleagues at Tianjin University’s School of Precision Instruments and Optoelectronic Engineering have invented a laser system capable of emitting a continuous beam of electromagnetic waves in the terahertz spectrum, needed for the next technology 6G communications.

According to their research, the results of ground experiments revealed that these terahertz waves can easily flow in and out of plasma created by a hypersonic weapon at 10 times the speed of sound or even faster “as if the black barrier did not exist. “.

The technology has been widely researched for military uses, such as radar to detect stealth aircraft or high-speed communication in space. However, using 6G on a hypersonic weapon is more difficult.

Previous research has found that terahertz transmissions in the lower frequency range, which are commonly used for communication, can degrade as they pass through plasma. High-frequency waves can cross the barrier more easily, but they can’t travel very far through the atmosphere, the SCMP said.

According to researchers from Northwestern Polytechnical University and the Shanghai Aerospace Control Technology Institute, a hypersonic weapon traveling at Mach 5 through the atmosphere can reach an effective communication range of up to 60 kilometers (37 miles) with a transceiver of 5 watts operating at high frequency. of 2 THz.

Artistic representation of a hypersonic missile

This range “can provide normal communication for flight control and detection through the black barrier,” they said in an article published in the peer-reviewed national journal. Flight control and detection in November.

Yao’s team created a terahertz gadget that operated at a slightly higher frequency of 2.5 THz. In an open space, they underestimated the reach of their technology.

Based on these claims, while these claims seem too good to be true, it might not be an impossible feat to pull off given that 6G has already been tested for military application in space and for radars to see if it can help detect stealth aircraft. The hypersonic missile on a 6G range could still be years away given that as of today it has just been released.

The 6G race between the United States and China

Even before the 5G battle was settled, China and the United States began a race to harness 6G technology. SpaceX creator Elon Musk says the Starlink communications satellite network will be upgraded to terahertz technology in the future, boosting download speeds to 10Gbps on a ground terminal, thanks to funding from the military American. At present, Starlink’s download speed is around 100 Mbps.

In 2020, China claimed to have launched the world’s first 6G terahertz satellite to conduct high-speed communications experiments in space, as Popular Mechanics previously reported. Chinese scientists have since carried out tests of 6G data transmission on the ground, reaching speeds of several hundred terabytes per second.

Due to technical hurdles, several industry analysts predict that 6G commercialization will take a decade. In fact, the rollout of 5G is not yet complete around the world. Some countries have just started or have not yet started testing 5G equipment.

China's 5G surge: All major cities will have a 5G network by the end of the year - CGTN
File Image: Via CGTN

Interestingly, the United States sanctioned Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, which has since been banned from participating in 5G trials in various countries. The telecom giant has been accused of having links with the Chinese military.

According to scientists involved in Chinese 6G projects, Beijing is developing compact terahertz antennas with synthesized aperture radar technology – high-speed processors capable of handling a large data stream without overheating – and high-altitude base stations on the Tibetan plateau to integrate the future 6G. networks in space and on the ground.

It is believed that whoever patents 6G first is likely to lead what might be called a super-fast communication race.

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