Engineers in Sweden have announced the development of a prototype tank which is covered in "pixels" that enable it to disappear from thermal images – or to disguise itself as something else. The "Adaptiv" system, funded by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), covers the test vehicle in hexagonal panels whose …
She has chosen a very obvious piece of cover.
... just look for the vast cloud of dust the machine has kicked up
hmmm Counter nuke
the yanks will develop new tech to counter it and then use it to obliterate anything that moves with 100 square mile radius (civilians included)
You've discovered our dastardly plan to kill all the world's civilians!
What now... What now....
Yeah, but we'll test it by trying to take out Detroit. No one will notice, apart from the lack of stench.
Take out Detroit?
Have you been there in the last couple of years? Detroit has already taken *itself* out. As far as I can tell, it now consists of the airport (which is very nice, by the way), the MGM Grand (which is spooky), a couple of weird hotels stuck in the wastelands, and Cobo Hall, which just flat out defies description. You see the dudes driving around on those tiny little scooter / transporter things, all over the place, and it's like those movies where a high-tech civilization has fallen to ruin, and is now inhabited by little creatures that run around without really knowing what they're in or why...
No offense to the guys working there. They're pretty cool. I'm just sayin'.
Paint it pink and install a SEP (Somebody Else's Problem) field.
(Apologies to DNA)
How goes the invisible shed?
Why no mention of whether this Swedish boffinry can be applied to man's best friend - his shed (self assembly naturally)?
Take it a stage further....
The other day a friend and me were speculating how a similar system could be applied to an garage-sized outdoor building to mask the thermal outbut of a 10 Killowatt, ummm... "server" farm. <cough>
That's a nasty cough you have there, Mr Inmate...
You taking anything for it?
don't need to be blind to miss it
i think some commentards are missing the point. the modern tanks biggest enemy in "traditional" warfare is the attack helicopter. this system is designed so that an apache flying at night by thermal/ir will class it as a truck which can be multipurpose could even be civilian, maybe rules of engagement state no firing on anything but T-72's. its not some magic camo but it would have its uses.
As for being blind try spotting a black/olive drab thing at night somewhere with no lighting i.e desert, steepes etc its hard to do in the uk because of all the light pollution but you'd be suprised how crap human vision can be. sure you'd here it but i have a feeling this thing is for spoofing aircraft that hunt on IR and not people on the ground.
of course this assumes a type of warfare that's pretty much unlikely to happen anyone with an attack helicopter/tank fleet big enough to warrant this has too much to loose (economically etc, china's not going to attack you America ffs) by going into a big tank vs helicopter war and 3rd world nations using surplus soviet tanks wont be able to afford it and don't have the air capability anyway
what happened to...
Sticking a painted canvas and wire frame over the top if you want to make it look like a truck instead of a tank?
Fooled the Germans in North Africa.
RE: what happened to...
"....a painted canvas and wire frame...." The Jerries were reliant on the old Eyeball Mk1, aided by a bit of photo-recce. But modern thermal imagers and infra-red cameras can "see" through such contraptions. Same goes for the traditional camouflague netting. A much better solution is to make static decoys with heat sources that look both visually and thermally like a tank with it's engine idling. That ruse was very successfully used by the Serbs to keep NATO guessing in the former Yugoslavia. I presume the next step will be droid vehicles with thermally-enhanced visual signatures and fake armour to roll ahead of your real armour and draw the enemy's anti-tank fire, so the following tanks can then nail those AT assets.
Ze Germans didn't have Attack Helicopters with FLIR
there's also avoiding being blown up...
Quite a few anti-tank missiles use infrared to track the target quite useful having a low infrared output in those situations I'd imagine...
so if if is covered in adjustable temperature panels...
they would be called hexels?
Heat Emission Repressive/Productive Evasion System.
Aw, look at that frail old lady walking along with her shopping trolley...
... leaving two massive tank tracks in her wake.
Solomon J Solomon would approve.
Been done years ago, Just ask Major Kusenagi, had her napper torn off by a cloaked spider tank.
Sadly the cavalry arrived just to late with the standard issue big gun.
halo 'cos Well she is erm, a nice bit of anime.....
How do you store heat?
Assuming your tank is hotter than its surroundings, how do you store heat to conceal its presence? Assuming that you can't (I don't think so) then what's the best way to get rid of the excess heat to conceal its true shape? Perhaps you could lazer* it away.
*the solution to everything!
Nail on head
The heat has to go somewhere.
Idea 1. IR cool one side (facing the enemy) and send heat to other side.
idea 2. Switch on only for short periods, like when enemy detected (missile launch detected, laser targeting detected, ESM etc).
Idea 3. Drag really hot radiator behind (like ESM systems on aircraft) to distract missile aiming system.
In reality, not a clue where the heat goes.
Easy - you find the nearest PC gamer (you may have to look for a while) and stick his CPU / GPU heatsink / fan / water cooling system on top of the tank. Make sure to use the right thermal putty, and - problem solved!
I can't see anyone actually using this crazy system
So it must be working.
Why not for passenger vehicles?
As I watch _Top Gear_ (yes, we even get the UK version in the colonies) I wonder if this will be available. It would be wonderful to get away from those vile speed cameras. Now if this combined with radar absorbing material to get away from those pesky "smokey shooting pictures" highway patrolmen.
A wonderful application if you ask me!
Even for a tank..
..getting this thing off the ground will take a lot of effort
To quote Douglas Adams;
"..making anything invisible is so infinitely complex that nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of a billion it is much simpler and more effective just to take the thing away and do without it..."
From the nyteknik article (http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/fordon_motor/bilar/article3246446.ece):
"Projektet har hittills kostat runt 13 miljoner kronor," which translates to "The project has so far cost around 13 million SEK" (or £1.25 million/$2 million).
If this was made in the US by one of the large defence contractors, it would probably had cost 10 or 100 times more.
Thats not a Sweedish Tank thats a US one.
I know cos I've seen it before:
Figured out how it works
Either an array of Peltier modules (cheap, not so low powered) or vacuum thermoelectrics.
The latter are very recent but much like OLED hex panels are obtainable if you happen to have the appropriate deep pockets and a hotline to the manufacturers who are happy to sell the prototype run of units for "extended field testing"...
Rumour has it that these can be printed by the thousand using broadcast power to recharge the wafer thin batteries inside, so that they don't need wiring.
Maybe now we know why the UFOs are always the same shape.. Disks make an excellent flat surface to mount visual stealth panels on.
Pretty sure I've got a couple of them in an old amplifier... no UFOs around here, either!
Lets flip this over, it can make a tank appear like another object (slashdot were suggesting cows etc) on ir signatures which most devices trying to kill them in low light situations use.
And its small and hardly consumes any power, double coolness.
What if you made a autonomous version that made a cow look like a tank? you could *really* freak the enemy out with a herd of these for very little cost. Or be the tank in the middle of the cows reliant on them having to eliminate the cows before even finding you.
Cow based tank decoys. I feel sorry for the cows if any mil types read this...
Yes, you'll need to wash it very often... this is such a waste of money as it stands. One bullet and the system is down. One splash of mud, and there'll be plenty, and the system is down.
This is for the lab, not the field.
mud should be a problem.
Teh tank will then look like a muddy truck.
Driving round a battlefield in a tank invisible to the Yanks?
Make a tank invisible to an IED - now that would be worth having.
That would be a hovertank. But that is just fiction. Or if someone manages to do a skirted hovercraft with a 105mm on top... Not that the skirts would be too 'armored'... but the IED thing would be sorted, as you hover above it.
But I remember Hobart's funnies flayer tank for minefields disarming.
But that is just fiction.
Not really. Prototype air cushioned tank was built by Transmash in the old Soviet times. Had no armour though...
Presumably a tank is normally somewhat warmer than its surroundings since it has a dirty great engine in there to power it. Hence the use of thermal imaging to spot it. So to cool its exterior you need to pump heat into the interior or, equivalently, prevent the interior heat from escaping against the natural thermal gradient. That includes all the heat that'd normally come from the engine cooling system and exhaust which I imagine must run to quite a large number of kilowatts.
Seems to me that's going to make it pretty hot inside - and with no heat escaping, the temperature will just go on rising indefinitely. Well, until something melts anyway.
Tanks...pah think bigger....
anyone seen the Royal Navy's latest steath aircraft carriers and stealth Harriers?
Could you show how an invisible Playmobil tank might look?
If this does work....
Then it must be pretty damn clever.
I worked on thermal imagers in the early 80's and you could tell by looking at the tracks on the ground which ones had been made by a tank going past several hours before, as opposed to days, and which direction it went. The temperature differential that could be seen was tiny.
I suspect they have got better since then.
I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!
All Hail Kane and the Brotherhood of Nod!!
That is so cool...
letters... there you go now it contains it.
somewhat of the Mirage tank from Red Alert 2 / 3
This clearly wouldn't work. How did romulans do it?
Romulans used spray paint ...
on the Enterprise's cameras. The best way to look black against a black background is to blind the other fellow so he doesn't know it. (when that failed, they used cardboard painted black with white dots on it. The fingers on the edges gave it away, though...)
Since everything is running to missiles and Mogadishu "technicals," I don't see the point in disguising machinery that's on its way out. The current threat isn't direct, it's from IEDs and plain old terrorizing the populace.
I'm amazed at the level of misunderstanding in the comments. In a tank to tank conflict seeing the tank accurately is key because sight is still used for targeting. To counter that most tanks have smoke generators. And to counter that most tanks have IR sights so you can still see (albeit degraded slightly) when in a big smoke cloud. If you can throw smoke and then IR cloak, it could reduce the range that the enemy can engage to less than the range at which you can engage. Queue up a duck shoot. You aren't trying to sneak a tank up on someone, you are just trying to make targeting it very hard. It is the same thing with stealth planes. You don't mind if someone sees you, or even to a certain extent if they hear you (although stealth planes are designed to be quieter than non-stealth versions). What matters is whether the missile shot at you can get a lock. Which crucially means it sees you on either radar or infra-red.
For those who point out that these days more tank kills are done from aircraft, please explain how the aircraft get their kills. It is actually through the same means, either visual sightings or IR sighting primarily. Again, if the tank blows smoke and cloaks in IR it could significantly reduce the accuracy of aircraft. You will still lose tanks, but a lot less than before when targeting was accurate.
...it's an old police call box.
Seems like a lot of trouble to go to....
over a few invading raccoons!!
In the 90's New Labour made over half the UK forces and equipment invisible, that's why we're still fighting in Afghanistan
Oh sorry, that was DISSAPEAR completely, not invisible