China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation is Promoting the Use of Lasers in Oil Exploitation and Space Exploration

China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, a company that specializes in laser technologies and weapons, is promoting the use of lasers in oil exploitation and even space exploration.

Wu Xiaofeng, the deputy director of the Fourth Institute of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, explained at the Third Optics Valley Aerospace Laser and Quantum Technology International Forum in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province on Tuesday that his company has used a new technology known as the distributed acoustic sensor technology based on laser interference, 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 added that this laser technology could monitor if the oil extraction equipment is connected correctly and if the transmission of data is normal.

Wu also told the Global Times that the company is currently 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.

Wu stated that in comparison to traditional drilling technology, laser technology could identify whether there is oil underground and promote the production of oil and gas.

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

Wu Chunfeng explained that laser technology is highly sensitive and can carry both information and power. Using laser communication and detection to explore other planets may provide more precise imaging.

Last January, China successfully performed 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 kilometres above Earth, making it the satellite’s first official use.

The successful test demonstrates that China is at the forefront when it comes to high-speed space information transmission, as reported in 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 could also make communication in space, easier, laying the groundwork for the country’s future space probe projects.

Earlier in November, a new study, published in the Astrophysical Journal, proposed that the laser technology could be used to generate an infrared beam bright enough to be seen by intelligent alien civilizations. Once spotted it would be like a breadcrumb trail pointing right back to Earth, and extraterrestrials could come calling, according to reports by media.


Image Credit: Maryna Stamatova / Shutterstock


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