New laser tech has space, oil ap­pli­ca­tions

Global Times US Edition - - TOPNEWS - By Cao Siqi in Wuhan

A Chi­nese com­pany spe­cial­iz­ing in laser tech­nolo­gies and weapons is pro­mot­ing the use of lasers in oil ex­ploita­tion and even space ex­plo­ration.

China Aero­space Sci­ence and In­dus­try Cor­po­ra­tion has used the dis­trib­uted acous­tic sen­sor tech­nol­ogy based on laser in­ter­fer­ence, the first of its kind in this coun­try, to suc­cess­fully de­tect the ex­ploita­tion con­di­tions of a 5,000-me­ter oil well in Shengli oil field, China’s sec­ond largest oil field in East China’s Shan­dong Prov­ince, Wu Xiaofeng, deputy direc­tor of the Fourth In­sti­tute of China Aero­space Sci­ence, said at the Third Op­tics Val­ley Aero­space Laser and Quan­tum Tech­nol­ogy In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum in Wuhan, Cen­tral China’s Hubei Prov­ince on Tues­day.

The laser tech­nol­ogy could mon­i­tor whether the oil ex­trac­tion equip­ment is prop­erly con­nected and if the trans­mis­sion of data is nor­mal, said Wu.

Wu told the Global Times that the com­pany is now ex­per­i­ment­ing in other oil fields in East China’s Zhe­jiang Prov­ince, Tarim oil field in North­west China’s Xin­jiang Uyghur Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion and Daqing oil field in North­east China’s Hei­longjiang Prov­ince.

“Com­pared with tra­di­tional drilling tech­nol­ogy, the laser tech­nol­ogy could de­tect whether there is oil un­der­ground and pro­mote the pro­duc­tion of oil and gas,” Wu said.

Wu Chun­feng, a se­nior en­gi­neer at the com­pany, told the Global Times that the laser tech­nol­ogy could also be used in ex­plor­ing other plan­ets.

“The laser tech­nol­ogy has high sen­si­tiv­ity and can carry both in­for­ma­tion and power. Us­ing laser com­mu­ni­ca­tion and de­tec­tion to ex­plore other plan­ets may pro­vide clearer imag­ing,” Wu Chun­feng said.

In Jan­uary, China suc­cess­fully con­ducted the world’s first two-way high-speed laser com­mu­ni­ca­tion test, us­ing a laser com­mu­ni­ca­tion ter­mi­nal in­stalled on the high-through­put satel­lite Shi­jian-13 which is or­bit­ing at 40,000 kilo­me­ters above Earth, mark­ing the satel­lite’s first of­fi­cial use.

The suc­cess­ful test shows that the coun­try is at the fore­front when it comes to high-speed space in­for­ma­tion trans­mis­sion, ac­cord­ing to an ar­ti­cle posted on the of­fi­cial WeChat pub­lic ac­count of the equip­ment de­vel­op­ment branch of China’s Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army Daily.

Ex­perts said laser com­mu­ni­ca­tion can also fa­cil­i­tate com­mu­ni­ca­tion in space, lay­ing a great foun­da­tion for the coun­try’s fu­ture space probe projects.

Ear­lier this month, a new study, pub­lished in the Astro­phys­i­cal Jour­nal, sug­gested that the laser tech­nol­ogy could be used to pro­duce an in­frared beam bright enough to be spot­ted by in­tel­li­gent alien civ­i­liza­tions. Once dis­cov­ered, it would be like a bread crumb trail point­ing right back to Earth, and ex­trater­res­tri­als could come call­ing, me­dia re­ported.

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