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ADAPTIV System Cloaks Aircraft Under Infrared

Written by on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

The ability to gather valuable intelligence can be game-changing in a combat scenario. Counterintelligence therefore becomes equally important. Camouflage is an excellent example of counterintelligence, because it is technology that acts to prevent enemies from detecting troops and vehicles. Camouflage is so effective that it is standard on many military vehicles and most uniforms. While patchwork green and tan might be extremely effective at disguising the naked eye, it is worthless against advanced infrared systems, which detect heat rather than light.

BAE Systems, a Swedish engineering company, has developed the infrared equivalent of green paint. They have invented the ADAPTIV system, a network of interlocking hexagons that can emit variable levels of heat.

A sophisticated computer system tells each hexagon to cool itself off or heat up in order to create a specific heat signature. Each of the hexagons effectively acts as a single pixel; together, they create a larger image that will confuse or mislead enemies with infrared. The pixels cialis online canadian pharmacy could make a tank look like a normal civilian vehicle, or become virtually invisible by blacking out the vehicle entirely.

Peder Sjölund, the project manager of ADAPTIV, explains another, less obvious advantage of the system. The individual hexagon tiles can be controlled so precisely that it is possible to create shapes, such as boxes, circles, or even letters. Thus, vehicles can emit these symbols, which are only detectable with infrared technology. Troops would be able to identify friend from foe with these symbols, even at very great distances.

The ADAPTIV System is an effective and subtle tool in manipulating information and communication. Allies can use it to communicate with each other through infrared, and it can be used to completely alter the infrared signature of combat vehicles.

Overall, the ADAPTIV system holds a tremendous amount of potential. While it might not be cost effective to outfit every vehicle with the system, certain vehicles would undoubtedly benefit from infrared camouflage.


If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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