What material can infrared block

Camouflage and deception: danger of thermal imaging

Even a soldier, no matter how well camouflaged, shines through a thermal imaging device like a Christmas tree. This is why such technologies are among the greatest dangers for men on the ground. Thermal imaging devices are able to make the infrared signature (thermal radiation) emitted by a body visible. Hiding these radiation signatures is probably the most difficult task in today's disguise. The ever-advancing development of thermal imaging technologies makes this task even more difficult.

Main enemy physics

Observation at night: normal view and then with thermal image. The person is immediately recognizable.

The crux of the matter: simple physics. This is because a heat signature is energy. What does the law of conservation of energy tell us? Exactly, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So you can put a soldier in a suit that doesn't let the heat out. However, this thermal energy does not simply dissolve, the soldier is well sweated in such a suit.

The big challenge is to find out what to do with the thermal energy. She has to go somewhere. Basically, you have two options. Either the heat is let out or it is converted into an imperceptible signal. There are certain substances that cool the soldier's body; however, these do not completely eliminate the heat signature.

This means that all attempts to cope with thermal radiation are high-tech. Which in turn makes it more difficult for the soldier.

A science in itself

For example, US Army scientists are researching particles that are supposed to block infrared radiation in order to make soldiers invisible. In addition, the US Army has ordered equipment worth millions from Fibrotex. Their “Ultra-Light Camouflage Netting System (ULCANS)” has been specially developed to protect against night vision and thermal imaging devices; it covers vehicles, for example, and makes their heat radiation diffuse.

Another idea is currently on the way to patenting: Quantum Stealth. Special material is used here to bend the electromagnetic light spectrum around the object to be camouflaged. However, the technology has not yet been presented to the public. There are videos HERE.

Thermal image also makes it difficult to hide: there is a man in the green bush whose thermal signature immediately reveals him.

For the US Army, in any case, protecting soldiers from advanced technologies is very important. High-end camouflage technologies will therefore play an extremely important role in the battlefields of the future, especially as night vision will change. In addition to normal night vision and thermal imaging, there are more and more fusion devices that merge both technologies. HERE a video of a Fusion device in action.

More information on thermal imaging: BASICS: Thermal imaging device on SPARTANAT