Army Wants Black Blacker Than Black

The US Army is looking for a black that's blacker than black. How black? at least 99% of incident light should be absorbed.

OBJECTIVE: Design, develop, prototype, and demonstrate an antireflective coating or surface treatment process for metals that achieves light absorption of at least 95 percent (with a goal of 99 percent) in the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared regions. In addition, this coating or process should allow a surface to selectively exhibit earth color instead of broadband absorption as well as improve the heat transfer properties of the material.

DESCRIPTION: New surface structuring processes and nanodeposition technologies have demonstrated superior antireflective properties and thermal characteristics that improve heat dissipation. They have also demonstrated hydrophobic (water repellent) anticorrosive properties and hydrophilic (water absorbent) evaporative cooling properties. Although the primary aim of this topic is to create an antireflective coating, these other attributes are highly desirable. This technology has been demonstrated in small volumes, and this SBIR effort will determine if large scale applications are possible.

Science fiction fans recall the fuligin from Gene Wolf's Shadow of the Torturer. And the absolute black from Douglas Adams's novel Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe . Both were published in 1980.

Scientifiction fans, on the other hand, recall black coating from Doc Smith's 1942 novel Gray Lensman :

“Well, we have a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive, and I don’t need ports or windows. At that, though, one percent reflection would be enough to give me away at a critical time. How’d it be to put a couple of the boys on that job? Have them put a decimal point after the ninety nine and see how many nines they can tack on behind it?”

Now, that's blacker than black. How about it, US Army?

From Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Proposal Submission Instructions via Wired.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/26/2012)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

New Glass Tough As Steel
'Windows of an artificial transparent element...'' - Olaf Stapledon, 1930.

Blackest Black? New Disordered Nanostructured Material
'Well, we have a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.

Boeing Creates Lightest Metal Ever
'A metal that was apparently as light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'- John W. Campbell, 1930.



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Solowheel Xtreme Heinlein Tumblebug Video
'The cadets 'stood to horse' alongside their poised tumblebugs...'

Algorithm Predicts Marriage Success (HAL 9000 Will See You Now)
'I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset....'

Denmark Island Earth (Verdenskortet ala Ringworld)
'They wanted to keep something of what they were losing...'

Humai Startup To Implant Your Brain In Robot Body
'The astounded onlookers saw a human brain snugly encased in a transparent skull-shaped receptacle.'

Blue Origin Reusable Rocket's Vertical Landing
We're getting there, one launch at a time.

X125 Snake-Arm Inspection Robot Video
'... long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'

Super-Thin Smart Glazing Displays
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'

Have Scientists Found A Parallel Universe Leaking Into Ours
'Ellis had found a weak point, a shimmer, at which another continuum completely had been visible.'

Active Wellness Smart Car Seat
'Maybe the car was right...'

Tech Tats Prototype Sfnal Devices
'...Permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'

ANNABELL AI Can Learn English From Scratch
'...Could understand not only classic programming but also Loglan and English..."

Tesla Suit Gives Haptic Hugs
'Then a pressure on the lips...'

Surgically Implantable Artificial Kidney Starts Testing
'George Walt... proved the workability of wholly mechanical organs...'

Self-Filling Water Bottle Is Beetle-Based
'That moisture trickles down...'

Senate Passes Space Mining Legislation
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite...'

Microsoft's Surface Book Is Part Clipboard
'Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad, and the fantastic technology behind it, was the last word in man's quest for perfect communications...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.