BAE Systems' ADAPTIV infrared camouflage system for armored vehicles…
While science is on the brink of making small objects disappear using light bending invisibility cloaks, making a tank invisible to military surveillance equipment is a whole different ball game.
BAE Systems’ ADAPTIV infrared stealth system provides a solution to that problem with a high-tech camouflage that mimics its surroundings so the vehicle blends into its background. Traditional camouflage goes someway in obscuring the vehicle from distant eyes, but even under the cover of darkness, infrared, night vision and thermal sensors can detect military vehicles with ease.
To hide vehicles and other objects from military sensors, ADAPTIV utilizes a skin of hexagonal panels, called pixels, which can be heated and cooled individually. By adjusting the temperature of these pixels the system creates signatures that go undetected by military cameras. The pixels are made of metal so they can sustain some degree of damage, and they can be easily removed and replaced if damaged.
To create the camouflage on the fly, the system uses an IR camera to the image the scene on the opposite side of the vehicle; it then automatically adjusts each pixel to replicate that image.
ADAPTIV can be used on types of military vehicles including ships and stationary objects, it also come pre-programed with signatures that match non-military vehicles.
Develop by BAE systems Sweden-based Hagglunds unit, ADAPTIV was unveiled at the Defense & Security Equipment International exhibition in London, 13-16th September, however the press the system has received is not all positive. Ronen Meir, CEO of Israel’s Eltics, was at the DSEI in person to claim that BAE’s ADAPTIV uses a technology which is the same as that featured in a similar system developed by Eltic’s and Israel Military Industries.
Meir had with him a copy of a patent that was approved just weeks before the conference. In response BAE claim that its system is different because it uses different materials.