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back to article Sun: MoD has Bond/Potter/Klingon cloaking device

The quality press is awash with invisible-tank stories this morning, as the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Ananova news wire et al pile into an exclusive scoop by the Sun. It would seem that the Currant Bun scribes have spoken to a squaddie from the Royal Engineers, who claims to have been involved in trials last week featuring a (take …

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optical radiation

Tut tut tut. MP's, the Mail and to genral population will campain against this. The use of the word radiation. School boy error.

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Picture

Lewis Page

Without that picture, I would be at a complete loss. I am so glad you inserted it as without it I would never have been able to imagine how this technology works.

Regards

Mark

P.S. I think it goes very well with that disappearing beer you have there.

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The only reason your shed is invisible

in the picture is because you're on the inside looking out through the window.

And you thought us reg readers were stupid enough to fall for it.

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Go

Shed

Oh yes, that makes it on to the list, along with the flying car and personal teleportation.

I want one now !

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Happy

How many sheds?

Arthur Jackson would be proud!

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Title

The tank is clearly visiable using anti-invisible glasses

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Cameras?

Fine if you are sitting still in nice weather, how long till the camera grots up doing something like moving around or when its raining.

plus the antidote to this is probably infra-red cameras.

also not sure how its going to work as camera-projector is just one angled view, hows it going to work in full 360?

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Paris Hilton

invisibility

Presumably this is the same technology Paris Hilton and Brtiney Spears have had built into their underwear?

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It's all true...

.. and I can prove it. Look I found an Egghead from GCHQ on the side of the road the other week took him to the pub for a laugh and whilst bladdered he spilled the beans on this little breakthrough.

Not only is it a clocking device but it's also a combined deflector shield. Gordon Brown is pumping trillions into it's development. The plan is that next time there is even a sniff of a general election No 10 will disappear and any criticism will bounce straight off.

I should warn you that they are also working on a "Reality Distortion Field" that will have a range covering the whole of the UK. It will make everyone believe that everything that all politicians say is completely true without question. It's based upon technology that MI6 nicked off Steve Jobs who has had one with a global reach for years apparently.

I'd like to verify the source for you but sadly whilst I was being told all this a Black Helicopter landed and two Greys got out and vaporised the Egghead. Shame.

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Go

Nice one Lewis

It's about time someone had a dig at the tabloids (oo-er) for their hysterical science reporting.

This one by the Sun almost reaches the level of that Sunday Sport classic "World War 2 Bomber Found On Moon!", which they followed up (after everyone pointed out that it was a load of bollocks) with "World War 2 Bomber - Missing!".

Maybe the aliens had invisible-shed-on-moon technology back then and this Sun piece is the missing piece of the puzzle. I could be on to something here. Eric von Daniken made a fortune out of this kind of shite in the 70s.

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Black Helicopters

Do you really believe everything you read in the papers?

I think I'll digest this with a large pinch of salt, even though the technology is possible to develop metamaterials and nanotech are no where near mature enough.

You see its not the mention of metamaterials that makes me think hang on a minute, its the mention of cameras and projectors. Sure its relatively easy to make a shed appear to disappear, because its rectangular and box like. A simple logical deduction would immediately show that you can't "look down a barrel" and not see it at all, simply as the barrel has no light emitted from the inside and to have the light emitted from the inside would require a non functional gun, or a glistening shell tip sitting in the most bizarrely improbable of positions.

Oh and don't forget the refractivity of any part of the machine and minuscule differences in angles would cause it to be visible, and produce strange optical effects. Think "Predator"...

Putting a tank in an invisible shed is a different thing entirely.

Its kind of like that stealth thing when the US were testing the B2 bomber. The brits new it was flying over head for weeks, it didn't have any radar reflectivity, but also, galactic background radiation failed to pass through the plane creating a shadow, which was detectable. Dumb ass yanks who rely heavily on positive radar readings and ignore negative ones.

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Invisible shed

Already got one, and I defy anyone to publish a photo showing otherwise.

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Should go down well on ebay

Dunno about sheds, but they've been selling not just invisible but completely undetectable laptops and phones for many many years.

Even the seller becomes highly invisible the moment they sell one. As does the buyer's money, usually.

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Ash

Where's the deterrant?

"Of course, you do realise that if you march your soldiers over our borders we'll shoot you with our invisible tanks. We do have them. Honest. Look, you can see one over there! *Points* What, you can't see it? GOOD BECAUSE IT'S INVISIBLE HAHAHA UR SO GAY!!1"

Personally, i'd think be more concerned about very visible tanks lined up and ready to fire then invisible ones pretending to be.

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Bronze badge
Joke

They should have asked my brother...

he's the world expert on invisibility... he's never to be found when it's his round...

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Coat

Foiled!

I've had my invisible army building up in secret for years now, and they have to let the cat out of the bag. There is one huge problem with this technology as we found out in the invisible war games, we can't find the enemy, and they can't find us! So in the end we told them we had them surrounded, still waiting for a reply. We tried to invade, but could not find the enemy headquarters. We did blow up a few sheds though.

War is now obsolete.

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Invisible shed?

So when can i pick these up from ikea?

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Happy

Ask Paul Daniels about the mirror trick

You'll like it, not a lot.

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Coat

why all the fuss?

I can do this standing at a bar with a £10 note and not one barman can see me!

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Unhappy

I am already invisible to most road users

when I am on my bicycle, so I think the MOD have a lot of catching up to do!

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Sun's a little late

Of course the tank's bleedin' invisible. that's why they paint them funky green or of late sandy colours...

Camera's take a photo of the terrain people are planning to invade (multimap has been making this simple for years).

People project the image onto a screen and some pen pushers who wouldn't know what a field would look like otherwise decide what pattern to use.

People paint the tank with that pattern.

Fits the Sun story perfectly.

Should I don my coat?

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Unhappy

Lost mine already

Now where did I put my new invisible shed? Blast!

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Dan
Black Helicopters

Woah!

'Invisible' is a bit strong for this one - the idea was basically to video the scene from one side of an object and project it as an image onto the opposite side, resulting in a 'see-through' object. Hardly invisible though - more like 'active camouflage' a la Predator. Anything else I would be highly suspicious of.

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Flame

yet more totally useless tech.

the persons that sanctioned this ridiculous fucking project should all be shot in the testicles.

the scientific community really ought to grow up and consider VALUABLE systems, that solve REAL problems facing tank commanders and crews on todays battlefields, rather than fucking around chasing novelty sci-fi nonsense like this.

i recommend shooting in the testicles as a way to gently simulate to these asshole scientists just how it can feel to be sitting in an armoured vehicle when an infra-red triggered improvised explosive device goes off next to you.

get to work on some meaningful detection systems, or perhaps bring on the next generation composite armours.

our boys are dying out there by the score, and this is the best you can come up with?

you ought to be bloody well ashamed.

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Coat

Invisible Tanks?..

..I'll believe it when I see it.

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Ancient Myths

Nothing new about this - J R R Tolkien stated that the High Elves invented this technology and produced 'Elven-Cloaks' quite a long time ago. But did they patent it I wonder?

I think a lot of people have these anyway. I've sometimes arranged to meet someon who didn't turn up but swore that they really were there.

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@Carl Lattimer

The story is all true except that:

- it was the Serbs, not the Brits who first used the technique

- they spotted and shot down an F-117, not a B2

- it showed it up in RF from TV transmitters, not cosmic radiation.

An array of passive receiving dishes and a *lot* of computer power did the trick, so there's your IT angle. This setup was helped along by the F-117s always using the same exit track after bombing missions, so the Serbs knew which region of sky to monitor and where to site the SAM.

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Paris Hilton

awesome!

Camera's and projectors? Cant wait for some squaddie to plug in the wrong toughbook, and pipe the pltoons lesbian porn collection all across the tank they are supposed to be hiding....

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Boffin

Way to do it...

The way I would do it if I was designing it would be to use a massive lenslet array over the whole exterior of the tank.

Each lenslet would consist of a small semiconductor with integrated optical sensors and leds, covered with a hemispherical lens over large groups of these pairs of sensors and leds.

The problem comes not from the manufacture, which is fairly straight forward, but from the interconnect between the sensors on one side of the tank and the leds on the other.

Overall, it could give cloaking and external 3d displays for a fairly trivial amount of power.

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Was the military gent in question a Sgt Franz Harary by any chance?

http://www.askipedia.com/askipedia-article-004005-1378.htm

Franz Harary is a magician/illusionist, famous for making a Space Shuttle disappear in 1994 which aired on NBC’s “World’s Greatest Magic”, as well as making MD-80 airliner appear from thin air in 1992, and for making the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas disappear in 1997.

Seems like he might have good promotion prospects!

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Silver badge
Coat

Invisible? Blown up?

Hell, I figure if you blow something up it's invisible. Problem solved. The real issue is why you brits think you'll gain anything by blowing up your own tanks. Inside sheds. Or something. What the hell?

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Anonymous Coward

DOH !!

You can imaging the 'hidden' tank creeping along into battle when one if the squaddies inside sits on the 'projector' remote control and switches the tank to bright blue with input2 flashing on the turret !!!

Or swaps the input to his ipod which he watching his 'Frankie Vaughn' on.

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Joke

Lexus can already do this

Has no-one seen the new hybrid advert? Surely the MoD is well behind on this issue. Maybe the next major British tank will be built by Lexus, have a really quiet angine and be a hybrid, so better for the planet too.

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Pirate

Talk to the experts

The Inland Revenue have been making my hard-earned wedge disappear for years

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The Yellow Banana Bush .....and Proud to be American.

"War is now obsolete."

Yes, so what is the reasoning for it? Smash and Grab/Rape and Plunder. Ah well... at least the enemy storm troopers are plain enough for everyone to See. Has the Force been turned on and against the Cowboy Custer Element? .

IT's wonderful what a Financial Meltdown will do as it is surely only the dollar and the Banks/Bankers prosecuting Death and Destruction rather than providing InfraStructure and Construction ..... except for themselves apparently and the marauding bands of private mercenaries given immunities and therefore making the Regular Army even more likely to be despised and targetted. It is just like how the Wild West was won against the native Red Indian, Kemo Sabe ....all over again. Heap bad Medicine, man.

Whose dumb ass idea was that to privatise War and dispense with Rules and Responsibility and Accountability? When the war is over, who is going to think of them a conquering hero in a war zone rather than a psychotic bully in devastated third world country.

And what did you do in the war, daddy, with your overwhelming military force? Was it a fair fight or rigged with just a few kids fighting to stay alive in a Free Fire Civilian Zone?

Sounds very holocausty/killing fields and definitely not cricket, ole boy.

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If all else fails...

... it will prevent the Yanks from shooting us!

If they can't see us, they can't shoot us!!

Or, would they just shoot anyway, and then claim (legitmately) that they, "Couldn't see y'all there".

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Octoskin

This mucking around with cameras, projectors, metamaterials and other advanced technology is altogether unnecessary. All one would need is a large octopus skin (or several sewn together) within which to enclose the tank and an octobrain as the central cloaking control mechanism. How hard can it be?

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Wall hax?

I feel sorry for our infantry boys. I'm no military expert, but surely the main point of tanks at the moment isn't blowing things up but providing cover for infantry in urban settings?

Can you imagine trying to hide behind an invisible tank? Tenner says some poor bugger walks in front of it by accident. *squelch* And even if you could take cover behind it the enemy could still see you and what you were doing. Seems silly to me... Cool, but silly.

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Unhappy

The roof of my shed is invisible.

Ever since a gale earlier this year.

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Happy

I only see one shed

@ Robin Traylor

"Arthur Jackson would be proud!"

Not to mention pleased. Now he could have as many sheds as he likes without the constant jibes from the neighbours!

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Flawed

All the enemy needs is thermal imaging or radar and the game is up.

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Pirate

Oh come on, it's _The Sun_

Come on, this is _The Sun_ we're talking about. A picture in which a tank is clearly not visible is all the proof a Sun-reader needs that it is a picture of an invisible tank!

Expect an outraged story in a few weeks' time, about how gangs of paedophiles are using "invisibility technology" to spy on your kids.

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@Martin Gregorie

I heard the story about a year after the B2 was announced around 1990/91, I was only young so all the details are sketchy, maybe it was the TV signals rather than the galactic background, I remember specifically it being the B2 as I was pretty fascinated with the aircraft at the time, being a super-cool flying wing and all, and me being a young boy. Someone of course came and shattered my dreams of invisibility way back then...

Anyway by 1999 when the serbs shot down an F117 the story was old news already, and I infact was telling people this story to explain the major flaw in stealth technology at the time, as nobody could understand how it was possible. If they implemented the same method then bully for them, but I'm pretty sure the brits got there first. As I was told, they politely called up the US military commander in question, and said something polite like "Hello there, this large triangular thing that keeps flying over us, could you please fly it elsewhere"

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Dan

@The only reason your shed is invisible

surely "ivor headache" would work better?

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Unhappy

Could be useful!

Just imagine how useful this invisible shed would be on a fine summers day!

"Yes dear, I'll be happy to cut the grass. However I can't find the lawnmower....".

Now can we get back on the serious subjects. We haven't got time to waste all this bandwidth - none to spare with the serious Paris Hilton stories.....

A

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re:invisible tank

I just can't see it myself.

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I guess this was on the same patent application

as the Currant's invisible journalistic integrity...

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Gold badge
Coat

Why invisible?

Picture the scene, a battlefield some time in the future:

--

Capt: What reports from our reconnaissance patrols?

Sgt: They appear to be sending an attractive line in shiplap sided garden sheds against us sir.

Capt: The poor fools. Their wooden shed technology is no match for our bombs and missiles, it'll be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Sgt: Wait a minute sir, there's something going on. The doors are opening and...THERE ARE TANKS INSIDE THE SHEDS!!!"

Capt: Ohmigod, we're all dead.

--

See? No need for invisibility at all.

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Happy

@David Paul Morgan

That's because standing at a bar with money out is one of the unwritten no-nos anyone who's spent much time on the serving side of a bar could tell you. In the barperson world - and more importantly the virtual queue representation in their head - that's a "Go Back Two Spaces" card. Wave it around and you'll be lucky to get a drink this side of Xmas.

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