London: BAE System’s scientists in Sweden have designed a new invisibility cloak, which could protect tanks from heat seeking missiles.
The new technology that has been designed has scanners to read nearby buildings, terrain and can reproduce their pattern of hot and cold on panels on the hull of the vehicle.
The machines are allowed to blend into their environment by the infrared image that is produced – tricking enemies into thinking it might be a car or even a cow.
The research about the device, named Adaptiv, has also been submitted to Britain’s Ministry of Defence for consideration and full trials will be carried out in the next two years in Sweden.
Buildings, ships or low-flying helicopters could be disguised with the help of hexagonal metal plates about the size of one’s hand, which can be heated or cooled quickly.
According to The Sunday Times, Peter Sjolund, the project director said that the system works on a thermal television screen.
“It also carries a library of images. In an urban environment, you might want to appear as a car, or in a harbour a parked tank could appear as a container,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
Sjolund said that if pictures from the library were not suitable then the user could grab an image of a nearby object and use that instead.
Professor Sir John Pendry from the Imperial College London said that the effect of the product depends on where the enemy is standing and a different angle might give a far less convincing image.