September 7, 2011
Tanks could soon get night time invisibility thanks to a cloaking device that masks their infra-red 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.
Researchers are looking at ways to make it work with other wavelengths of light to confer true invisibility.
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.