Researchers in China have developed a laser that emits pulses so powerful that it is capable of jamming or destroying satellites in space.
Dubbed the “Relativistic Klystron Amplifier (RKA)”, the device can generate a measured beam of 5 megawatts in the Ka-band, part of the electromagnetic spectrum increasingly used for both purposes and purposes. civil and military purposes. While not powerful enough to shoot targets in the sky from the ground, the RKA can be mounted on a satellite, which can then be used to attack enemy assets in space by burning the rockets. their sensitive electronics.
Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) are systems that use concentrated electromagnetic energy rather than kinetic energy to damage or destroy enemy equipment and/or personnel in a physical conflict. .
Although China denies the RKA is a Directed Energy Weapon (DEW), if the system is built on a large scale, it could emit a beam powerful enough to rip apart moving metal materials. move at a fast speed. In fact, one Beijing-based space scientist told anonymous media that the technology could act as a high-powered weapon, saying its power was “overwhelming.” just to think about.”
Space is becoming an increasingly competitive geopolitical arena. This follows recent revelations that China tested a low-orbit nuclear-capable hypersonic vehicle last August, which some in Washington have likened to a “new Sputnik moment “.
Responding to the news in November, Thomas Karako, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) based in Washington DC, said the US needs to deploy space-based sensors to counter the threat. New missile of the Chinese army. The following month, the Space Force, a branch of the US military, awarded Arizona-based GEOST a contract worth US$32 million (NT$883.84 million) for sensor prototypes based on space in an effort to get more eyes “in the sky.”
The recent conflict in Ukraine could also raise the risk of conflict in space and endanger satellites. Decades of cooperation between Russia and Western countries in space could come to an end quickly with the Russian space director recently threatening that Moscow might refuse to fix the International Space Station’s path, which will bring it down to earth. Also, last year, Russia destroyed one of its own successor satellites, which created mass debris in space.