Underwater Observation Network
In early June 2016, at the National "Twelfth Five-Year" Scientific and Technological Innovation Achievement Exhibition held in the Beijing Exhibition Center, China Shipbuilding Industry Group exhibited a system called "Undersea Observation Network". This may not be noticeable to the layman, but it shines to the professionals present. Because this is the first time that Chinese officials have publicized the “Chinese version of SOSUS”, a submarine anti-submersible sound monitoring system, which has been publicized by foreign media for a long time.
The British "Jane's Defense Weekly" website referred to it as the "Underwater Great Wall" in a report on May 17, and believed that it could greatly weaken the underwater operational advantages monopolized by the US and Russian nuclear submarines. The US National Interest website believes that China's ambition to build an underwater observation system will apply to all oceans that touch China's national interests, including "offshore, deep sea, remote islands, and strategic channels."
This article written by the American Chinese military expert Richard Fisher said that this sensor network system is also known as the "Underwater Great Wall Project". The relevant information has been public for some time, but the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation actually The plan is to build an improved version of China's underwater sound monitoring system (sound surveillance system). During the Cold War, the United States developed an underwater acoustic monitoring system, which has a significant advantage in combating Soviet submarines.
Fisher said that the system planned by China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation may be equipped with the People's Liberation Army Navy or exported. Fisher said that the brief information about the system released by the China Shipbuilding Industry Group at the China Shipbuilding Industry Group in December last year said that the purpose of the system is to provide customers with a package of solutions, including underwater environment monitoring and collection , Real-time positioning, tracking water and underwater targets, early warning of seabed earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters, and marine scientific research.
The specific components of this system include surface ships, sonar systems, underwater safety equipment, marine oil and gas exploration equipment, underwater unmanned equipment, and marine instrument electronics.
The National Interest website published an article entitled "China's" Underwater Great Wall "" by Lyle Goldstein, a professor at the China Institute of Oceanography, US Naval War College An article in December on the proposal to build an ocean underwater observation system. Goldstein quoted China ’s article saying that China ’s “Underwater Great Wall” should cover the sea areas under China ’s jurisdiction, “and also involve the global oceans that are of national interest, especially in key areas such as offshore, deep sea, remote islands, strategic passages. Goldstein said that China's ocean underwater observation system is a challenge to the US seabed superiority, which should be regarded as a warning, that is, Beijing will not succumb to the US seabed dominance.
The most important reason why Western countries are so concerned about our development in this area is that this technology can also be applied in the military field, which is why Western countries will call it the "Underwater Great Wall" The reason is that because this underwater observation network is a nightmare for submarines, China has broken the technology monopoly and the United States is the most vulnerable country. In the future, when this system can really play a role, even the most advanced "Virginia" nuclear submarine in the United States will not dare to be able to escape the detection of the "Underwater Great Wall".
Once the trace of a suspicious submarine is captured by the system, the unmanned submersible can quickly move out, approach it, closely follow the submarine for a long time, and collect detailed acoustics signal. This is enough to force the retreat of submarines.
China's marine scientific research started late, and the ocean observation capacity-building is far behind that of the developed countries in the world, with less observation content and low accuracy, which cannot meet the needs of modern marine military activities. The observations are mainly based on the routine monitoring of shore base stations, mainly relying on several observation stations of the State Oceanic Administration, fixed buoys and a small number of ARGO buoys, as well as the seabed observation network established in recent years, lacking a fixed long-term marine comprehensive observation platform on the sea, and unable to meet marine science Research long-term, continuous, real-time, multi-disciplinary and comprehensive observation requirements.
In general, the goal of international ocean observation is to establish a globally connected stereoscopic observation system, which has developed satellite remote sensing, buoy arrays, ocean observation stations, underwater profiles, and submarine cable networks. And the scientific observation ship ’s global observation network. Therefore, it is necessary to establish multi-parameter long-term, three-dimensional, real-time monitoring networks in key sea areas in a targeted manner to effectively and continuously acquire and transmit comprehensive parameters of long-term marine sequences.
As an important part of marine science and technology, marine monitoring technology plays a very important role in maintaining marine rights, developing marine resources, early warning of marine disasters, protecting the marine environment, strengthening national defense construction, and seeking new development space. An important symbol of a country's comprehensive national strength. Ocean monitoring technology can generally be divided into space-based ocean observation, sea-based observation and underwater ocean observation.
Space-based ocean remote sensing has the characteristics of wide observation range, short repetition period, and high spatial and temporal resolution. It can image the global ocean in a short time, can observe the sea area that is difficult for ships to reach, and can observe parameters that are difficult to measure or unobservable by ordinary methods It has become the second largest ocean observation platform following ground and sea observations, and one of the high-tech oceans that developed countries are striving for.
Aviation ocean detection uses fixed-wing aircraft and drones as sensor carriers. It has the characteristics of flexible maneuverability, many detection projects, close to the sea surface, high resolution, no orbital restrictions, easy sea-air cooperation, and low investment. It is a marine environment monitoring The important remote sensing platform, through the equipped microwave and optical telemetry equipment, can obtain atmospheric marine environment data in real time. In the military, drones are widely used because they can effectively reduce casualties.
Ocean survey ship, also called ocean survey ship, is a kind of ship that can complete the detection of marine environmental elements, survey of various marine disciplines and the measurement of specific ocean parameters. The West recognized the role of ocean survey ship in the second half of the 19th century and began Refit to use measuring boat. With the advancement of society, the development of science and technology, and the needs of the military, ocean surveying has expanded from single sounding surveys to seabed topography, seabed landforms, marine meteorology, marine hydrology, geophysical characteristics, aerospace remote sensing and polar parameter measurement, marine survey vessels Has become increasingly prominent.
Buoy monitoring has a wide distribution and long measurement period, and has become the main means of ocean and hydrological monitoring. The buoy integrates computer, communication, energy, sensor measurement and other technologies into a scientific and technological complex with high technological content.
The ocean underwater observation network refers to a network system that performs long-term, continuous, and real-time measurement of the environment and resources of the ocean water body, seabed and below based on a fixed or mobile platform based on wired or wireless means. That is, the Internet will be extended to the seabed, and optical cables will be laid on the seabed to form a network. This network will provide long-term, continuous power supply and communication to underwater observation equipment, and transmit observation data to shore stations in real time. Status monitoring.
Ocean observation is the basic basis for ocean development and comprehensive management and control, and the premise of "knowing the sea, using the sea, and protecting the sea". Comprehensively enhance the marine underwater safety monitoring capabilities, establish an underwater target detection, monitoring, and early warning system as soon as possible, build an “underwater Great Wall”, and build a three-dimensional integrated system for ocean observation and application. It is of great strategic significance to build marine ecological civilization and promote the progress of marine science.
These hidden dangers are due to the weak surveillance methods of underwater targets in our oceans, the weak ability to acquire underwater detection and early warning information, the invisible, the distant, and the unclear, and the lack of a perfect and effective ocean observation system. "One-way transparency" ocean security faces great threats.
The competition in the ocean is largely a competition for technology. Following ground and sea surface observations, and space-based telemetry and remote sensing, ocean observations will become an important method for future ocean exploration and research, and are highly valued by the marine scientific and technological communities of various countries.
In recent years, although China has made great progress in ocean observation instruments, ocean observation platforms and submersibles, most of the instruments and equipment are mainly imported. The existing regional observation network is in the demonstration and demonstration stage, and the global observation network is still Blank, the construction of information processing system has just started. In terms of underwater detection technology, ocean observation networks, and especially the construction of ocean underwater observation systems, there was a huge gap with the international development.
Due to the importance of underwater observation, over the years, relevant departments and agencies in China have made continuous efforts in the demonstration, preliminary research and development, and testing of underwater target monitoring networks, laying a good working foundation . At present, China has made great progress in the research and development of marine sensors. The underwater observation network is in the stage of small-scale demonstration test, and the observation platform has shown diversified development.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has made many exploratory studies on the construction of underwater observation networks, and has made breakthroughs in underwater networking detection technology. In 2010, China's first submarine optical fiber detection system was successfully deployed. In 2011, the Ministry of Science and Technology invested 40 million yuan to deploy a second shore-based optical fiber detection system 100 kilometers away from the shore of the Hainan Lingshui Base.
In 2012, the State Council's Civilization Order No. 50: Construction of a seabed observation network system in Lingshui, Hainan. To this end, the Ministry of Science and Technology invested 250 million yuan to build a test system for the South China Sea Observation Network. The Sanya seabed observation demonstration system, which was built and put into operation on May 11, 2013, is a relatively complete seabed observation demonstration system in China. The system consists of a shore base station, a 2 km long optical cable, a main connection box and a secondary connection box, 3 sets of observation equipment, an acoustic gateway node and 3 observation nodes, with expansion functions.
In addition, the submarine observation test system on the Xiaoqushan platform in the sea area near Shanghai Ocean Mountain relies on the offshore observation platform to lay a submarine photoelectric composite cable with a length of about 1.1 kilometers. Zhejiang University has built a demonstration system for the seabed observation network of Zuoshan Island, which was successfully deployed on August 11, 2013.
In recent years, the country has increasingly attached importance to the construction of marine underwater observation systems. Since 2012, the State Oceanic Administration and the military have carried out the design and pre-research of submarine observation and underwater target monitoring system projects, and hope to effectively change the severe situation of China's weak underwater monitoring capabilities through related work. During the "two sessions" in 2013, the State Council officially released the "Mid- and Long-term National Major Science and Technology Infrastructure Construction Plan (2012 ~ 2030)", and the Submarine Scientific Observation Network was ranked first among 16 major science and technology infrastructures.
The plan is based on the "13th Five-Year Plan", faces 2030, and focuses on the strategic goal of building a strong marine nation, clearly proposing the strategic thinking, development priorities, development road maps, major projects, science and technology projects, safeguard measures and policies of the construction of China's marine underwater observation system
By 2017 China was building an underwater observation network in the disputed waters of the East China Sea and the South China Sea. The military potential of this $ 230 million underwater observation network has attracted the attention of Western countries. A number of Western media reported that China's construction of the seabed observation network has caused many countries to worry that China is trying to use it to strengthen control of the disputed territory and expand its military influence.
Although the Chinese authorities initially stated that the seabed observation network would promote ocean research, the national television station CCTV reported that the network would also "meet the needs of other fields, such as national defense and disaster warning." It was reported that the seabed observation network built by China will take five years to complete its deployment. Reports said that the Chinese navy has been building an anti-submarine network that has spread to the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea, centering on naval bases such as Qingdao and Shanghai and important ports.
The deployment of the submarine monitoring system for China deployed by the United States and Japan can detect Chinese submarines entering the Pacific from the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea. The monitoring system collects sound wave and magnetic data from the submarine and detects its movement through underwater cables and underwater listeners.
The underwater sound monitoring system plays a key role similar to the air defense radar warning network in antisubmarine warfare, but only changes the radar to sonar. Cao Weidong of the Qianbao Think Tank and the Naval Academy of Military Science said "If thousands of hydrophones (that is, passive sonars) are installed at the position where the sound propagation is best on the seabed, and then they are connected in series with cables, any underwater sound waves will only enter this array range It will be noticed. According to the sequence and installation position of different hydrophone alarms, you can determine the direction and approximate distance of the sound source, and then guide the anti-submarine aircraft and ships to the target area for a more accurate search to track and lock the enemy submarine."
Unlike the hull sonar, towed sonar, suspended sonar, and sonar buoys used by aircraft and warships for "top-down" detection, the fixed submarine monitoring array "looks up" at the submarine "bottom-up". Because the temperature and density jump layers in the ocean are mostly close to the sea surface, the latter is much less affected by the refraction of the water body than the former, so it has a higher probability of capturing quiet submarines that travel at low speeds.
A Chinese ship appears to be laying undersea cables between Chinese outposts in the disputed Paracel Islands. RFA and BenarNews spotted the activity when viewing high-resolution commercial satellite imagery of the Paracels.
James Kraska, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, said they are probably for encrypted military communications between China’s various outposts. "The other thing that they could be doing is that they’ve got a SOSUS-type of network, an underwater sound surveillance system, to listen for adversary submarines,” he said. “So it could be passive listening for surface ships or submarines coming into the area.”
Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a Washington-based think tank, also suspects that the cables could be for undersea surveillance. “A sonar system would be important north of Woody Island because the PLAN’s South Sea Fleet submarine base is on Hainan Island at Yulin,” he said.
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