Chinese Scientists Unveil New Stealth Material Breakthrough

Chinese scientists claimed that they have invented a new material that could make detection of future fighter jets far harder than before.

Other cloaking materials have been developed before, but those creations are too thick to apply to an aircraft. A few speculate that it could be even used to construct stealth fighter jets.

The most advanced microwave radars broadcast signals on UHF that bounce off objects like aircraft.

Today's synthetic aperture radar use arrays of antennas directing microwaves energy to essentially see through clouds and fog and provide an approximate sense of the object's size, the so-called radar cross section.

Radar system's beam out microwave energy and anything that reflects it is detected - something that can absorb these waves will succeed in going unnoticed and the team believes their tunable new material can do just that at ultra-high frequency (UHF).

"Our proposed absorber is nearly ten times thinner than conventional ones", said Wenhua Xu, one of the team members of China's Huazhong University of Science and Technology. But current stealth technologies employed in aircraft like the F-35 fighter jet are not particularly effective against UHF signals.

Huazhong University's material is composed of various layers and can be "tuned" to absorb a wide range of microwave frequencies. That layer of material is placed under a. 04 mm thick layer of copper resistors, that the scientists call an "active frequency selective surface material", or AFSS for short.

In the report, the scientists said the material features semi-conducing diodes and capacitors bonded to a circuit board.

In the age when stealth is considered to be one of the key components needed to achieve military supremacy, any technological advances in this area will surely attract attention.

Vanessa Coleman