Photo-Veil Camo Digi Military Wrap

Photo-Veil from Military Wraps is a mesh material that uses images gathered from cameras on drones, satellites and lidar to camouflage military vehicles.


(Photo Veil Military Wraps)

The lightweight, customizable, foldable, portable and waterproof mesh material is also able to mask thermal and infrared output, making it ideal for blinds and ghillie suits.

Camouflage differs with each battlespace. In addition, painting camouflage on vehicles has been a time-consuming and costly endeavor. Vehicles must be moved to a shop, painted and returned to the unit, which means they are not in operational service for that period. Structures had their own challenges. Camouflage painters had to go to the structure.

The challenge for the company was showing others how to use the technology in the field. Help came from AS&C’s MilTech program, which enabled the company to develop a train-the-trainer course. As a result, military personnel can apply the camouflage technology in the field, and train others to apply it.

It's not very clear how this material actually works. For example, is it a one-time-use material that accepts an image for a single location? Or, can it perform it's camouflage trick at the whim of its operator?

Anyway, it's a science-fictional idea any way you look at it. Depending on your reading, you might be reminded of the mimetic polycarbon suit from the 1984 novel Neuromancer by William Gibson:

His body was nearly invisible, an abstract pattern approximating the scribbled brickwork sliding smoothly across his tight one piece.

Or, you might be thinking of chameleon cloth from the 1977 novel Dying of the Light by George R.R. Martin:

They rode forward together, gaining altitude steadily... The chameleon cloth overalls they wore had gone all gray and white...

Depending on how fast it performs its tricks as a ghillie suit, you might even be thinking of the scramble suit from the 1977 classic novel A Scanner Darkly by Philip Kindred Dick:

As the computer looped through its banks, it projected every conceivable eye color, hair color, shape and type of nose, formation of teeth, configuration of facial bone structure - the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond, then switched to the next...

See Military Wraps and Military Wraps Photo-Veil info (pdf) for more information; via Gizmodo.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/26/2009)

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