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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Missing MH370: Impossible to hide plane with electronic warfare tech, says expert

PETALING JAYA: It is “impossible” for the MH370 aircraft to be hidden from radar using electronic warfare technology, said an electromagnetics expert.

University of Toronto researcher Dr George Eleftheriades, an expert in cloaking technology, explained that the technology was still in its infancy and thus not easily available.

“This invisibility technology is still in the laboratory stage and not readily available. Moreover, it would seem impossible to fit the airplane with such a cloak while in flight.

“Therefore, I firmly believe such a possibility is out of the question in explaining the disappearance of the plane,” he said.

Speculations have been rife, especially on various news portals, about the possibility that the missing aircraft could have been “hidden” using cutting-edge electronic warfare technology that can hide a plane from the radar.

Fuelling further speculation was the fact that there were 20 experts from US-based company Freescale Semiconductor, which manufactures hi-tech weapons systems and aircraft navigation, on the plane.

CNN reported in November last year on a cloaking technology for large objects by Eleftheriades and Michael Selvanayagam.

The researchers found a new way to cloak an object using tiny antennas and published a paper on it in the journal Physical Review X.

This method does not make objects invisible to the human eye but makes them undetectable by radar.

While the researchers said the technology only worked for radio waves at the moment, they said the same principles could be applied to other waves and potentially hide an object from the human eye.

Another report by Fox News in November last year stated that China and the United States were racing to develop a new technology that can make airplanes invisible not only to radar but also to the human eye.

Tags / Keywords: Transport Safety , Politics , MAS flight , KL , Beijing , Missing flight , MH370 , Malaysia Airlines , Missing plane

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