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The Military United Kingdom Science Technology

Tanks Test Infrared Camouflage Cloak 309

LibRT writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "Tanks could soon get night-time invisibility thanks to a cloaking device that masks their infrared signature. Developed by BAE Systems, the Adaptiv technology allows vehicles to mimic the temperature of their surroundings. It can also make a tank look like other objects, such as a cow or car, when seen through heat-sensitive 'scopes. The hi-tech camouflage uses hexagonal panels, or pixels, made of a material that can change temperature very quickly. About 1,000 pixel panels, each of which is 14cm across, are needed to cover a small tank. The panels are driven by on-board thermal cameras that constantly image the ambient temperature of the tank's surroundings. This is projected on to the panels to make it harder to spot. The cameras can also work when the tank is moving."
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Tanks Test Infrared Camouflage Cloak

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  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Monday September 05, 2011 @11:23PM (#37312458)

    Tanks produce a LOT of heat.

    That excess heat has to go somewhere. Otherwise you'll see very HOT cows moving towards you at 40 mph.

    Yet checking TFA produces:

    Its developers would not discuss exactly how the panels are heated and cooled.

    I'm thinking that this will later be shown to be extremely limited by the amount of freon carried by the tank.

  • Using a searchlight is far more likely to tell the enemy your position than to tell you the enemy's position because any searchlight will leak some light off-axis and it takes far less light to spot a light source than to use a light source to spot a target.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday September 05, 2011 @11:53PM (#37312590) Journal
    Out of curiosity, if turning on your own light is so overtly suicidal, has there been any work on some sort of disposable system(a balloon, a compressed-gas launched parachute-projectile, etc) that would quietly move a moderate and unpredictable distance from the user, and then unleash the actinic glare of whatever chemical light source is currently in vogue in the correct direction?
  • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Tuesday September 06, 2011 @12:04AM (#37312642)

    The enemy can shoot at the light all they want. They won't hit anything.

    Except, perhaps... the light? Rendering your expensive remote-control light useless.

  • by rust627 ( 1072296 ) on Tuesday September 06, 2011 @02:01AM (#37313138)

    "US Government Contracting: Selling useless crap at highly inflated prices to uniformed people for over 200 years."

    Fixed it for you

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Tuesday September 06, 2011 @04:49AM (#37313762) Journal

    Spoken like a true warrior, hiding behind a civilian so the enemy doesn't shoot you.

    Civilians working to further military efforts are fair game in a war. You certainly wouldn't fault a country's military for blowing up a tank factory or munitions plant staffed by civilians would you? And if that causes more people to enlist into the military of that country, does it really matter?

    As for your Supposed satellites being hacked, I doubt it would happen for the control of the UAV, The satellite could be destroyed maybe, but then control would be switched to another source and life would go on. You do not seriously think any war machine would put all it's eggs in one basket do you. I mean it's common sense to not have only one way to control or communicate with troops or devices in active operations. The US military puts something like two satellites every 3 or 4 months into space and has more rocket launches then NASA To give an idea of what this means, in 2009, there were the US military put 21 publicly known satellites into orbit. In 2010, that number was 13, and so far in 2011, it has placed 10 publicly known satellites into space. This is just what we admit to.

    And you are crazy of you think we would send tanks into an area that we do not control the airspace of except in some extreme and rare situation in which case you are not going to put a remote controlled spotlight up in the first place. The biggest military threat to a tank is air power. I
      mean a jet or even some planes can come on at over 600 MPH, launch a missile target the next tank, launch, and clear out before it ever gets into the range of anything the tank could muster to destroy it. You cannot really do that from the ground. At least not covering the same amount of area as effectively.

    I also do not think you understand just what these UAVs are capable of if you think a foreign airforce would just shoot them down like an Rc plane. We have weapons systems that are better then fire and forget with them. The remote operator can decide to change or even wait to set the target of a missile mid flight to intercept a more threatening enemy if the computer recognizes it's possible to do so), and this can be done regardless of the UAV's survival. So in your scenario, what would likely happen is 2 or 4 jets would acquire and target the UAV. It would transmit a friend or foe beacon and if not replied to, wait until it detects a weapons launch or an intercept course, then fire enough missiles to cover the threat, do a U-turn to flee to safety. and even if it is shot down, the 2 or 4 jets would be shot down too. So we lose a UAV, they lose a couple jets and the trained pilots operating them. We put another UAV in the air for a fraction of the cost and use the same experienced pilots and weapons crew.

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