London: A new technology that has been developed by scientists at BAE Systems in Sweden can make a tank `disappear`, `sweat` or even look like a cow.
The system will enable large and heavy tanks less conspicuous in the battlefield, said Hisham Awad at BAE Systems in Bristol, UK. And according to BAE Systems, it can not only make tanks harder to see, but also disguise them thermally, by making the vehicles `sweat`, or even look like cows, reports New Scientist.
On each side of the tank is a pair of "bug-eyed" compound video cameras to capture its surroundings. Each one contains nine small cameras, giving a wide field of vision. The images from these cameras are then fed to displays built into the outer surface of the armour on the tank`s opposite side. The displays use arrays of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) to project the image onto a screen contained within the armour, much like a rear-projection TV. The screen will be built in to a layer of a transparent composite armour on the tank`s side.
However, the team hasn`t yet figured out how to hide the tank`s tracks and roof. Also, making the tank `sweat` is far more challenging task. "A lot of heat comes out of the vehicle at any one time," said Awad. This produces a characteristic thermal signature, making tanks easy targets for heat-seeking missiles.
The researchers are trying out ways to capture the water component of the engine exhaust and channel it to composite armoured tiles along the tank`s sides, which would evaporate it, thereby cooling the surface of the tank, much like sweating. Awad and his team researchers want to be able to move water over the tank`s body very quickly and create specific shapes.
"You can make it look like a Ford Focus, or you can have the shape of a cow," says Awad.
First Published: Friday, January 21, 2011, 09:57