Chinese engineers are reportedly developing a new material that absorbs radar waves up to 30 dB.

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Announcements of major scientific breakthroughs coming from China are quite common, and just as common are declarations of this type unsupported by any verifiable facts. Thus, in recent years, Chinese engineers have claimed major advances in the fields of EM-Drive, quantum computers, quantum radars, directed energy weapons, radars, and meta-materials, but very few facts or demonstrations support these assertions.

This essential precaution having been taken, Professor Luo Xiangang and his team from the Institute of Optics and Electronics of the Chengdu Academy of Sciences, claim to have developed a mathematical model to model the micro-structure of a material capable of absorbing 10 to 30 Decibels of radar energies to which it is exposed, and this on a frequency band ranging from 300 MHz to 40 GHz, i.e. the frequency bands most used for the detection of aircraft and ships, including the UHF band. This material would make it possible to reduce the power of the reflected radar signal by a factor ranging from 10 (10 dB) to 1000 (30 dB).

This technology, called "metasurface", would make it possible to obtain advanced radar stealth performance, without resorting to profiles intended to reflect radar waves at particular angles specific to 5th generation aircraft, often causing aeronautical performance problems. In addition, it would make it possible to extend the effectiveness of stealth beyond just the frontal sector, as today, and could be used, beyond aircraft, on combat ships, armored vehicles and missiles.

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F35coatingPaint Defense News | Defense institutional communication | Meta-materials Defense
Close-up on the “anti-radiation paint” of the F35, also based on a meta-material. A cell measures less than a micron.

However, much information regarding this “breakthrough” is today unknown, such as engineering constraints, thermal and abrasive resistance, or more prosaically, the price of these materials. However, all these parameters are decisive for evaluating its applicability in the industrial and operational field. Let us recall in this respect that the anti-radar paint which covers the F35 is also effective, without however announcing such significant absorption capacities, but its application is very delicate, and therefore expensive, while its lifespan is relatively short. Furthermore, many laboratories, including in Europe, are actively working on these meta-materials, which offer immense possibilities for extending the effectiveness of existing and future systems.

This announcement opens a new window on Schrödinger's cat, because we must consider the announcement as probable and consider its operational implications, while taking into account the possibility of a disinformation operation, or more simply , from an excess of enthusiasm from the scientific team. This uncertainty created is probably one of the objectives sought by Beijing, by allowing it to be seen by being at the origin of the public announcement.

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