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IR Camo Suit

Cooled oversuit for invisibility to night-goggles
  [vote for,

Just about every soldier, terrorist, and TV actor out there seems to equipped with night vision goggles these days. How about evening up the score with an IR camouflage suit?

Night vision uses infrared, which essentially relies on the fact that people give off more heat than the surroundings. A water-cooled camouflage oversuit could render the wearer's surface temperature the same as that of the surroundings, thus becoming invisible (or at least much harder to detect) to night vision goggles.

Of course, it wouldn't work at very low temperatures (although a non-freezing coollant could be used instead of water), and would be superfluous at very high ones.

DrCurry, Nov 13 2002

Multi-spectral camouflage net http://www.colebrand.com/defsml1a.htm
Not cooled though. [angel, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       I could very well be wrong about this but, I think infra red goggles help you to see heat signatures, while night vision goggles amplify existing light and have nothing to do with heat. If you have ever seen predator 2, Gary Bucy's commandos where these exact suits, but I don't know if they are real. (+)   

       Some night vision systems use both technologies combined.   

       The only problem I see with this idea, Doc, is determining what the temperatures of the surrounding, or backdrop, structures are instead of just the surrounding ambient air temp. The IR signature is just as telling in contrast to other things besides the air. Maybe there is a way to do active IR camouflage that uses IR imagers to determine the backdrop object temperatures, like a wall that you are against, and reradiate that thermal signature from the suit? It would have to, both, 'know' where the observing IR receiver is located, generally, and be fast reacting though for, if you are in motion and pass in front of an object that is warmer, like a recently operated car, you will be revealed.
bristolz, Nov 14 2002

       baked - a heavy duty nylon with aluminium threads in that reflect the surrounding temperature. Very useful for covering hot vehicles and artillery but less usefull for infantry due to the way it reflects heat inwards as well.
chud, Nov 14 2002

       Somewhat off-topic, those of a whimsical nature may appreciate a poem entitled "I can't find my camouflage net" by Les Barker, of Manchester, England. ("You just put them down and they vanish!") Copies available from MrsAckroyd.com, but a taster is:
I draped one over the Transit (popular brand of van in UK)
And that's when my troubles began
I'd go out and buy another
But I can't find the bloody van.
angel, Nov 14 2002

       This is Baked - and was demonstrated on the BBC's "Tommorrow's World" programme about 18 months ago. Fairly effective against passive IR image intensifiers. Not so good against visible band image intensifiers. Acceptable against active-illumination IR band systems. Limited usefulness against 3rd generation composite systems. Not good against UV. Bulky and hot to wear. As [bristolz] has p;ointed out, background contrast is the big problem. Also, all equipment has to be carried under the suit .....   

       Under further development as part of the MoD's Future Soldier concept progamme.
8th of 7, Nov 14 2002

       What's wrong with using a fire extinguisher to combat IR like in the movies, and a few video games? seems to work well enough. maybe the military could just work on a lighter, more compact one.
notme, Nov 14 2002

       A big problem (which I don't see addressed yet) would be the need to dump the heat *eventually*. If the heat isn't being radiated, it's being stored. If it's being stored, it's going to get mighty warm inside that suit.   

       Maybe a peltier device which converts the heat to electricity then stores the electricity in a battery?
phoenix, Nov 14 2002

       [notme], yes, like the noise and the cloud of vapour WON'T give your position away ....   

       IR-masking smoke cartridges are avilable, but you need a lot of them in open country.   

       // you could just hide in the mud //   

       OK, we'll all stand round and watch you keep perfectly still in the mud while the Ungodly are on the prowl all around you ....   

       //it's going to get mighty warm inside that suit //   

       Yes, it bl00dy does.   

       // Maybe a peltier device //   

       Yes, but you then have a cold junction and a hot junction. You mean a Seebeck device, which converts heat to current. A Peltier device is an electric semiconductor junction heatpump.   

       If you have a Seebeck suit the outer junctions are still going to get warm, and radiate. And you need a decent temperature differential to get efficient operation.   

       A Peltier suit could be made cool on the outside, but the heat still has to go somewhere ....
8th of 7, Nov 14 2002

       Actually, the fog from a fire extinguisher will show up on IR sensors pretty darn well- it's a heck of a lot colder than the surrounding air. It might be opaque though- this might be a good idea for smoke ejectors on a tank.
Madcat, Mar 23 2003

       It seems to me that an easdier answer is being overlooked. Existing naked-eye camoflage works on the principle of breaking up the human form's outline and shape. Therefore, you could replicate effect this in an IR defeating suit by using coollant in a random blotch pattern similar to modern camo. You don't have to hide the whole body, just make it unrecognizable. PS Current fatigues worn in the US armed forces do have a slight IR deterent quality provided they are never starched.
jackhandy, Apr 20 2003


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