by Staff Writers
New Delhi (Sputnik) Mar 13, 2017
In an effort to counteract a network of US navigation, intelligence, and communication satellites capable of unmatched precision strikes, China is developing its own arsenal of electromagnetic railguns, powerful microwave weapons, and high-powered lasers. This weaponry could feature in future space-based 'light war' satellite attacks.
Researchers, Zeng Yu-quang, Wang Zhi-hong, and Gao Ming-hui first wrote about the notion of a space-based laser weapon in 2013 in the Chinese Optics journal. All three scientists work for leading laser-weapons technology organization the Institute for Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics.
"In future wars," they wrote, "the development of ASAT [anti-satellite] weapons is very important...Among those weapons, laser attack system enjoys significant advantages of fast response speed, robust counter-interference performance and a high target destruction rate, especially for a space-based ASAT system. So the space-based laser weapon system will be one of the major ASAT development projects."
If Beijing's military, which oversees the country's space program, provides the funding for the scientists' proposed five-ton chemical laser, it could be operational by 2023. The weapon would be capable of destroying enemy satellites in orbit from its position in lower Earth orbit.
A ground-based radar would be used to identify a target satellite, according to the article, with precise targeting ensured by a special camera. The beam of the laser would be focused by a membrane telescope.
The article revealed that, "In 2005, we have successfully conducted a satellite-blinding experiment using a 50-100 kilowatt capacity mounted laser gun in Xinjiang province...The target was a low orbit satellite with a tilt distance of 600 kilometers. The diameter of the telescope firing the laser beam is 0.6 meters wide. The accuracy of [acquisition, tracking and pointing is less than 5 [microradians]."
While giving congressional testimony last month before Congress, China military-specialist Richard Fisher, from the International Assessment and Strategy Center, confirmed that China had a laser weapons program and warned that Beijing could be rapidly militarizing space.
Asia Times quoted Fisher saying, "The Chinese government would not hesitate to use the lives of its astronauts as a shield to deceive the world about the real purpose of its space station,"and, "Having gained the advantage of surprise, the combat space station could begin attacks against key US satellites, thus blinding the US to the launch of new combat satellites that would attack many more US satellites."
Source: Sputnik News
London, UK (SPX) Feb 22, 2017
Within the next fifty years, scientists at BAE Systems believe that battlefield commanders could deploy a new type of directed energy laser and lens system, called a Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens which is capable of enhancing commanders' ability to observe adversaries' activities over much greater distances than existing sensors. At the same time, the lens could be used as a form of 'de ... read more
Laser Weaponry News at Spacewar.com
Learn about laser weapon technology at SpaceWar.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|