Active Camouflage with a touch of the Emperors new clothes

#1
Sounds good.

Tank camouflage has come a long way since the good old days of painting them green and slapping a white star on the side. British defense tech firm BAE Systems is developing an active “e-camouflage” system that will employ a form of electronic ink to project imagery of a vehicles surrounding terrain, rendering the vehicle somewhat invisible to potential attackers.
Using a set of electronic sensors attached to the tank’s exterior, the system would process the vehicle’s surroundings and recreate the colors, lines, and shapes common in its environment on the tank’s hull, making it extremely difficult to see. Because the images on the tank’s exterior would change as the surroundings change, ostensibly such an active camouflage system could cloak the vehicle even as it moves across an environment.
Uh oh!

The system exists only on paper currently, but BAE scientists are confident they can make the technology work
So, no change there then.

If BAE scientists can make their active camo system work, it will likely be expensive

Plus ca change...



Source: Popsci
 
#3
No doubt the product of the same mind that a while back produced the high-tech 'information battle helmet' that was like a green beachball on your head, lit you up beautifully at night, and insisted North was South.
 
#5
all warriors should just make a gentleman's agreement and go back to using swords.
I mean come on ..."e-camouflage"?
The only problem with that is we would have to send our swords to the Germans to get them to help stop the blade falling off.
 
#6
So Big And Expensive at it again then.

If we are fighting a foe with optics advanced enough to make this worthwhile, surely they would also have TI, making active camouflage (operating in the visual spectrum) utterly pointless..
 
#7
So Big And Expensive at it again then.

If we are fighting a foe with optics advanced enough to make this worthwhile, surely they would also have TI, making active camouflage (operating in the visual spectrum) utterly pointless..
Only if every ******'s got a TI camera.
 
#9
all warriors should just make a gentleman's agreement and go back to using swords.
I mean come on ..."e-camouflage"?
You mean you haven't got a I-Rifle?

While I don't wish to come across as a Luddite or like those of militaries past who decried such murderously technological marvels as the machine gun, submarine or tank.

Do we really need this?

What is wrong with drab paint, applied in the manner of the surrounding area. Perhaps augmented by good use of cover, tank sheeting and scrim/natural foliage.

What happens when this techno-phallusy gets hit by a round, a jolt of a vehicle or has to push its way through an obstacle?
 
#11
It would be nice if it works, but I can't help but wonder if this is another FRES boondoggle, where the immediate needs of the army are mortgaged for the 100% solution in a few years time (in that case "a few" apparently meant two decades) and you end up with an 80% solution after all, because that's all that you can afford.

FRES, after all, was supposed to pack the protection of an MBT into a sub-warrior weight-class vehicle using electric armour and hard-kill DAS, none of which have really materialised and we've got something a bit heavier than a Warrior with commensurate protection, that we could have had ten years ago.
 
#12
What happens when this techno-phallusy gets hit by a round, a jolt of a vehicle or has to push its way through an obstacle?
Nothing. It's just a film containing pigment that is activated when an an electric current is passed through it. If it was rendered u/s it would just be stuck in whatever colour it was at the time.
 
#14
Nothing. It's just a film containing pigment that is activated when an an electric current is passed through it. If it was rendered u/s it would just be stuck in whatever colour it was at the time.
And how resistant to the usuall rough and tumble of military driving will it be? Or will the vehicle be stuck in some completely inappropriate colour scheme for the woods, after driving through a town?
 
#15
yes a new plastic, silent e-camo tank drives through an area like Old Hastings, The Bahamas or some Dorset costal village with bright coloured houses - chasing anti-tank teams and spear-heading an assualt ....the crew desperately trying to stop it adopting the house colours, pressing over-used, broken 'over-ride' and 'cancel' and 'oh just go green FFS' buttons and then after being hit by an RPG you are stuck in a combination of house number 35 (bright orange) and house number 37 - (yellow)

Also this e-ink bollocks. You know what its like with printers the ink costs more than the printer. This was probably dreamed up by Bill Gates/Epson or something.
I was thinking more that it would be in shades of grey perhaps in the town and then still driving through a forest in such grey scheme, rather than shades more appropriate to the woodland.

Likewise for conversions behind desert and green zone, or from winter whites to forest.

On the flip side, perhaps it could be quiet useful with a purple type scheme as used by the Jordan Interior Ministry troops. I beleive the purple scheme is quite effective at dawn.
 
#16
One of the big advantages of such a system is that you could set up an environment-specific disruptive pattern then have it move along the side of the tank so that the pattern appears to stay still. This would make a moving vehicle much harder to spot.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#17
One of the big advantages of such a system is that you could set up an environment-specific disruptive pattern then have it move along the side of the tank so that the pattern appears to stay still. This would make a moving vehicle much harder to spot.
Unless you have TI!

Spotting a target moving or still or recently moving with TI is very easy, e-cam will not solve this unless you put the tank in a moving glasshouse, even then the blank spot moving will appear pretty obvious to a trained operator.

We tried TI cam in the late 80's, almost useless except for making big bivvies with (and of course the 250 bungies). But did not stop our Army from wasting millions on it and actually deploying the crap to BAOR.

As to availability of TI; I suggest a quick trip to a US hunting shop.
 
#18
I don't know how many weapons are fitted with TI but it does tend to be fairly pricey. Moving cam patterns would also make it difficult to properly judge lead or centre mass for a good aim point. Plenty of vis-light aimed weapons out there now and the near future.

It might be possible to create a disruptive pattern in the 3-12 micron range that would spoil the identify/target layers of the infamous onion through TI. If that could be incorporated into the active camouflage, then it would be more effective, but more against aiming and identification, or fleeting glimpses, than against outright spotting.
 
#19
Or just paint it.



Of course this is only effective if you never plan to move, and can guarantee that the enemy will only ever see you from one particular angle.

 

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