BAE Systems Unveils Thermal Invisibility Cloak

Neil Waghorn
Posted: 09/04/2011
BAE Systems have successfully tested their latest effort to become invisible. BAE announced that their ‘Adaptiv’ technology can make objects ‘effectively invisible or appear to be other objects [...] when viewed in the infra-red spectrum.’ On-board cameras pick up the background image and sheets of hexagonal ‘pixels’ on the vehicle then change temperature to match the background, or other objects including 4x4s and even cows. The ability of the ‘pixels’ to rapidly change their temperature is crucial to the success of the technology.

The 'Adaptiv’ technology offers a large degree of flexibility. Here the CV90
armoured vehicle displays its model number. [Image: BAE Systems]
The flexibility of the image that the ‘pixels’ can display, as well as providing increased stealth in the infra-red spectrum, could help reduce fratricide. As shown in the image above, the ‘pixels’ could display identification to help prevent blue-on-blue incidents.

BAE Project manager, Peder Sj÷lund, comments that, whereas previous attempts at cloaking technology have been expensive, too fragile and energy hungry, ‘Adaptiv’ panels ‘can be made so strong that they [can] provide useful armour protection and consume relatively low levels of electricity, especially when the vehicle is at rest in ’stealth recce’ mode and generator output is low.’

The potential implementation of this development is large - an additional theoretical application being to provide stealth for buildings or warships. This latest technology is another addition to BAE’s arsenal of camouflage technology in their campaign to ‘provide all-round stealth’.






Neil Waghorn
Posted: 09/04/2011

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