a dazzling comeback?

7 06 2011

Battlefield Dazzle Camouflage Disrupts Enemy’s Perception

Posted by Armed Forces International’s Defence Correspondent on 07/06/2011 – 11:20:00
 Dazzle Camouflage

Historic military camouflage designs could return to the 21st century battlefield after the release of a new study that describes their value to modern warfighters.

Produced by a research team based at the UK’s University of Bristol, the study describes how-so called ‘dazzle camouflage’ could be a valuable tool on the frontline and how, ultimately, it could prove to be a lifesaver.

Dazzle camouflage consists of a series of patterns, with the emphasis on sharp, irregular angles, high contrast and other disruptive features.

According to the Bristol camouflage researchers, if applied to armoured vehicles and other military technologies used on the battlefield, dazzle schemes could effectively confuse enemy forces. That’s especially true if viewed on moving vehicles, with their markings basically becoming a series of blurred patterns that would be hard to track and, thus, better protected against enemy-launched weapons.

Dazzle Camouflage

Dazzle camouflage was a feature of both WW1 and WW2. Applied to battleships at sea, it was conceived as a way of giving the enemy a false impression of what they were actually looking at. When faced with a non-standard camouflage design, seen from a distance, how could they really be sure of the warship’s range, speed, shape or compass heading?

No previous research has ever been carried out into the scientific effect of dazzle camouflage on the brain but that’s now been addressed by a team led by Doctor Nick Scott-Samuel, of Bristol University. He and his colleagues have now shown that a high-speed object, painted in dazzle camouflage, can disrupt ideas of just how fast it’s moving.

On that basis, there’s strong evidence to suggest that dazzle camouflage, painted on relatively slow-moving ships at sea, probably wouldn’t have been that effective, but the same technique applied to relatively fast-moving battlefield vehicles would likely have much more of an impact.

Disruptive Battlefield Camouflage

Therefore, disruptive battlefield camouflage, said Doctor Scott-Samuel, could literally prove to be a lifesaver.

“The effect should obtain in predators launching ballistic attacks against rapidly moving prey, or on modern, low-tech battlefields where handheld weapons are fired from short ranges against moving vehicles”, he explained, in a press release published by Bristol University at the start of June, 2011.

“In the latter case, we show that in a typical situation involving an RPG7 attack on a Land Rover the reduction in perceived speed would be sufficient to make the grenade miss where it was aimed by about a metre, which could be the difference between survival or otherwise for the occupants of the vehicle.”

View original article at Armed Forces International News

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metamaterials, laser resin and invisibility cloaks

6 08 2010

Metamaterials can bend light around objects to render them near-invisible, begins a recent report in New Scientist. But it is an imperfect, lossy process, meaning some light is absorbed on its way through the metamaterial, and therefore the object remains semi-visible.

Now a team of scientists at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana have invented a light amplifying resin ‘sandwich filling’ which, when stimulated by a laser, creates gain in the electro-optical signal, restoring the ‘lost’ light. The “negative-index metamaterial” means that an object can now conceivably be made  invisible to specific wavelengths of light.

Previous metamaterials, utilising nanoholes in a carbon matrix, IIRC, were able to mask objects in the microwave end of  the electromagnetic spectrum, but visible light has until now been elusive.

A wearable device is still light years away (pardon the pun!), but military installations, ships and even armoured vehicles are most definitely foreseeable near-term applications for the invisibility treatment.

Watch this space. Not that you’ll see anything 😉





camouflage – the exhibition comes to Canada

11 06 2009

Anyone who got to see the Camouflage exhibition at the Imperial War Museum a couple of years ago will appreciate what a treat is in store for those able to make it to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa this summer. The IWM exhibition has travelled across the pond, and is set to inform and inspire new audiences young and old with its immersive display of concealment techniques, from their hand painted origins in the First World War through to the ultra-modern trend for uniforms designed and manufactured with the aid of sophisticated computer programs.

fashion meets function at the Canadian War Museum's camo exhibition

fashion meets function at the Canadian War Museum's camo exhibition

Follow the link to see more about Camouflage, the exhibition – from battlefield to catwalk.

Unfortunately the exhibition has no examples of the PenCott digital multi-environment camouflage, since the pattern was still being trialled when the Imperial War Museum originally presented the show. However, the two British camoufleurs who inspired Hyde Definition’s creative approach to the design of PenCott feature prominently in the Second World War gallery – Professor Hugh Cott, scientist; and artist Sir Roland Penrose. They offered solutions to the problem of concealment from two sources – that of zoological evolution and of visual psychology. At Hyde Definition we combined these points of view, and thus named the pattern in memory of Penrose and Cott: PenCott.

Camouflage is presented by the Canadian War Museum in partnership with the Imperial War Museum, from June 4, 2009 to January 3, 2010.





how the modernist movement made mariners miss

9 12 2008

I love Dark Roasted Blend. I could (and do) spend hours wandering and wondering through their vast archives of the bizarre, banal and sublime.

One particular entry, though has some crossover relevance to this blog – it’s all about the weird and wonderful dazzle camouflage designs painted on merchant and military ships during the World Wars, which provided effective deception against optical range-finding and target tracking, until seaborne radar was adopted.

USS Leviathan

Read all about it here.