According to state reports and professionals aware of the project, in order to study the physics of the Earth’s high atmosphere, China has begun working on the world’s most powerful laser radar.
The radar, with a range of 1,000 kms, would assist in exploring atmospheric particles that build up in the Earth’s outermost layer, protecting it from cosmic rays and solar winds.
In four years time the center would be established and will be functioning, becoming a part of a project to mitigate the threats posed by unnatural solar activities.
High-energy laser beam of the radar will be powerful enough to reach far beyond Earth’s atmosphere.
High-altitude observations would aid in broadening our knowledge of the unexplored atmosphere.
While the scientists involved in the project are claiming up to 1,000 kms of atmospheric density detection of the laser radar, other experts from China and around the world are showing distrust in the claim.
Despite that, many researchers back the claims wholeheartedly and stressed that there is no error in the range stated.
With the use of multiple large optical telescopes, the weak signals will be picked up from the high-altitude atoms that result when a laser is fired.
The project falls under the Meridian Space Weather Monitoring Project that aims to establish the most robust observation network on Earth. Meridian stations are planned to be set up all across the world by 2025.
Chinese government plans to reduce the threat these unusual solar activities pose to its assets with the help of this project.
Lately, laser scientists in China have managed to build up facilities such as ranging stations that enable satellites and space debris tracking. There is also a Laser AK-47 with the capability to set a target on fire that is 800m away. Chinese government has been an avid investor and backer of the program.
Major concerns have been raised due to the use of the powerful laser beams that may pose a threat to flying objects. However, Professor Qiao Yanli overruled the possibility of such an instance occurring as there is an extremely low probability of an accident. He added that spacecrafts tend to have defense mechanisms against laser hits.
A researcher, Professor Li Yuqiang, said that despite such advanced technology, algorithms will be required for clarifications and it will still be a tough task to achieve.