China is progressing slowly but surely towards the top. Often making headlines with its space-related developments, the country now claims to operate the world’s largest antenna for its underwater operations.
The peculiarity of the antenna is the fact that it was designed to maintain submarine communications over 3,000 km, enough to reach Guam, the largest US military base in the Western Pacific Ocean, according to the engineer. chief of the project Zha Ming and his colleagues at the Wuhan Maritime Communication Research Institute, reports South China Morning Post.
Although the current location of the gigantic antenna remains unknown, the team said it is somewhere 620 miles (1,000 km) south of Beijing, 1,242 miles (2,000 km) southeast. from Dunhuang in northwestern China, and 620 miles (1,000 km) east of Mianyang in southwestern Sichuan province.
An article published in the Chinese Journal of Ship Research details that receiving devices planted 700 feet (200 m) below the surface of the seabed can pick up signals from the giant antenna up to 800 miles (1,300 km) away.
The antenna is built using an extensive network of cables and pylons similar to that of traditional power lines. The system works thanks to two underground transmitters that charge an electric current and thus transform the Earth into a gigantic radio station, reports SCMP.
According to the research team, the Chinese antenna is the world’s first large-scale Very Low Frequency (ELF) facility open to non-military users that can generate electromagnetic waves from 0.1 to 300 Hz. These waves can travel long distances both underwater and below the surface with ease.
But the adjustment was not easy. If the electric currents get too strong, they could create a magnetic field that could affect the conductivity of the cables. This is why the generated radio waves must be refined. The team said they have solutions to these issues and the facility has exceeded the necessary standards previously set.
While these signals are primarily used to send and receive important messages to and from great distances, scientists also said they could be used to monitor fault lines below the surface and help assess earthquake risks. possible land for Chinese cities.