Isn't that a picture of Mrs B.J. Smegma
of 13, The Crescent, Belmont?
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 …
It's obvious that there is a net heat production for any type of cooling (and Peltiers are some of the least efficient), and on top of any engine heat.
So either this also has a giant tank of liquid nitrogren or so, or it only works on a non-running tank and non-sunny days (as the heat would build up too)...
I can confirm that tanks left in the desert all day get "very" hot.
After using a T59 tank in the Thar desert, 54 degress C in the shade, all day it really was not advisable to climb onto the tank without gloves.
As for going inside to fix some kit, it was not a very pleasant experience.
TBH the thing that struck me most about the T59 was how small it was inside. I know the Chinese are usually quite small but I had to be very careful when in the gunners seat that my shoulder/right arm didnt get too close to the breech when firing.
As to a commander getting in and buttoning up behind me, I am 6ft 6in, then to say the least it was "cosy" and you became very "intimately" acquainted, as did the driver's head to your crotch.
I really do hope the modern ones are a lot bigger inside.
If this is covered in pixels you could switch this over to the car industry and you can customise your car with a quick play in Photoshop or your image editing software of choice. No more expensive paint or fixes for small scratches. Instead you can pay for expensive pixel panels.... oops.
As a Mr M Gaddafi, lately of Tripoli found out, fast jets, armed drones and helicopter gunships will nail any conventional force vehicles they can see, if allowed to operate with impugnity overhead.
I imagine that the guys bringing death from above would be using the mark one eyeball in conjunction with the thermal imaging on the targeting systems to visually locate and identify a target, then ruin its day.
May not be so good against millimetric radar though....Here's a Swedish newspaper link with a few snaps of a CV90 with some slapped on the side and the effect. http://www.nyteknik.se/nyheter/fordon_motor/bilar/article3246446.ece
Would it affect the armour....no.
It may have an effect on the suspension and the wallet, based on the weight and the cost.
(zips up kagool)
The CV-90 actually is (rather) quiet and small(ish). This is not a full MBT but rather a light tank (~30 tons, a 40mm Bofors and tiny silouette). And diesel engines (unlike gas turbines) can be frightenly quiet, nothing like sneaking in the woods and stumbling into one of these which has been lurking, observing and ...waiting.
Had a Leopard do this to us, snuk up upwind, couldn´t hear or smell him until he cracked a tree. Would have been far to late by then...
If they are huge and loud, switch on the little external fridges round the edges a to give it a Pacman shape, huge speakers blasting "WHATEVER INNIT WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT INNIT WHATEVER" in a loop and the enemy will think they are being attacked by an army of teenagers coming to loot their country. They'll be waving their white flags even sooner than if they thought they were real tanks
Wandered out into the field and took a randomn photo of some grass and trees? Stealth is a 'relative' thing as you can't exactly make a 60 ton tank completely invisible and even a deaf person is going to 'feel' it coming at over 200 hundred yards away! Until they get rid of those gas turbine engines and drop the weight a little, that is never going away.
Lewis must be slipping, he seems to be praising a BAE invention? Granted, not a British BAE one, but BAE all the same. Maybe he has needed to go and lie down after this article?!
Now thermal reduction on a warship and disguising it as a fishing trawler is a great idea. Might just give those Type 45s a sporting chance against super sonic sea skimming missiles, assuming the Russkies did code it to have a smart warship identifier seeker rather than a 'kill anything it sees' one... Or is it only the Western powers that are that considerate?
Judging by youtube what you want to blow on on a thermal camera is a 4x4, if it's tank then that doesn't make much difference.
Unless they plan to invade somewhere by stealth, where the enemy only has thermal imaging and everyone is blind. Seeing a tank parked up even while it;s not firing is going to raise questions.
Given most tanks are killed by air-to-ground, I'm not sure this is all that useful.
As pointed out, 60 tonnes of gas turbine powered metal is pretty fracking hard to conceal. Stealthing it to make it look like a car/truck? Em.... probably sounds cool to the guy in the pub, but seriously? Whats the point? Look at recent conflicts. UK forces put big flags on top of jeeps etc so as not to get blasted by passing 'friendly' aircraft (not gonna point the finger at any nation in particular here...) You think fighter aircraft are going to pass up an enemy vehicle because it looks vaguely like a (very odd shaped) truck on IR?
> An Adaptiv-clad CV90 light recce tank will be exhibited at the DSEi armsbiz expo in London later this month.
Big deal. Last year they exhibited a tank using the Nevah-seen-nuffin (tm) engago disapearo system, and no-one noticed. Might have been because the "sales team" were exhibiting the battledress version, of course.
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'.
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
"....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.
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!
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.
..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..."
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!
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.