Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Stealth Car

Treat a car with that stealth bomber stuff
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

Avoid being pulled over for speeding by having radar-proof finish on your car - whatever it is they put on those undetectable military planes that defeat radar identification.
snarfyguy, Aug 22 2001

Drug Running Stealth Car http://www.snopes2....tos/law/stealth.htm
[mrkillboy, Aug 22 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Sukhoi S-37 Berkut: "Russian Plasma-Based Stealth?" http://www.colinmil.mcmail.com/s37.htm
Why make your car into a polygon when you can just stick a generator in the boot. [mrkillboy, Aug 22 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

More for [Skinny Rob] http://www.termsys.demon.co.uk/gatso.htm
The deal on Gatso cameras. [angel, Aug 22 2001, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Ben R. Rich, Leo Janos: Skunk Works http://www.amazon.c...16743003/halfbakery
Bio of someone who worked at Lockheed while the stealth bomber was developed. Good read, some detail about what it took technically to get stealth. [jutta, Aug 22 2001]

Radar absorbing fabric http://www.randf.com/rf_mag.html
You could wrap your car in this [thejini, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       The stealth bombers have all kinds of gee-whiz enhancements, not just a coating, to make them undectable to radar. And it now appears they can be tracked by cell phone networks. You could probably get a stealth car for a couple of millions, though, if you can find a company to custom-fabricate a body. Probably turn out butt-ugly, just like the planes.
Dog Ed, Aug 22 2001

       Wouldn't always work in UK; our speed cameras often measure speed using piezo-electric strips embedded in the road.
angel, Aug 22 2001

       Smart Cars can be bought with all kinds of designs that include leaves and other shapes. I have always though that if you had a design made to look like a pile of ubiquitous McDonalds' litter it would become invisible.
Aristotle, Aug 22 2001

       I know around where I live the police use lazer guns instead of radar now. It has a nicer ring to it: "I got three offenders with my lazer gun today".
sdm, Aug 22 2001

       Would the car have the radar signature of a squirrel?
The Military, Aug 22 2001

       Stealth planes are undetectible in part because they have no 90 degree angles. It takes more than just paint to make you car invisible.
Odayaka, Aug 22 2001

       The radar absorbing paint and angular surfaces will do you no good if the cops can still SEE the car. Especially one that's black and looks like a giant polygon.   

       The drug runner's solution to evading the cops is simply to make nighttime excursions using high performance sportcars painted black fitted with noise dampeners and the lights turned off. Apparently there are stories of people driving the southern U.S. being passed by these "ghost cars".   

       Actually, one of my friends did hide from the police by turning off his lights, and we gave him shit about his "stealth car" for weeks (he drove a brown '79 Toyota Corolla).
mrkillboy, Aug 23 2001

       [UnaBubba], drug runners use cars. The *government* use helicopters.   

       Anyway, after some websurfing, the whole thing might very well be apocryphal (see link).
mrkillboy, Aug 23 2001

       So there I was, talking to a friend/neighbor outside the building I used to live in... "Wow, check out that kite"
"Huh - looks like it's getting reeled in FAST"
"Damn, that's a Stealth, man"
(silently it seems) it flew directly over us as we spontaneously saluted and I began humming some patriotic sounding tune - he joined in. We both agreed that was a gazillion dollars well spent.
thumbwax, Aug 23 2001

//3. It didn't actually work.//

       Then it's not baked.
iuvare, Aug 23 2001

       True Story
thumbwax, Aug 23 2001

       Angel: That's the first I've heard about piezo-electric strips embedded in the road. Now... I'm not saying it's not true, I'm just wondering how reliable your source is on that one. Using a piezo-electric road surface to measure vehicle speed sounds like a Halfbakery idea.
Skinny Rob, Aug 23 2001

       [Skinny Rob]: [UnaB] beat me to it, but see link. Anyway, all of this stuff either doesn't work or is illegal, sometimes both.
The only way to avoid speeding tickets is not to speed, unless you happen to be a Superintendent in the (can't remember which) Constabulary. Said officer received a fixed penalty notice making the standard offer of 3 penalty points plus £60 fine. He replied that he 'couldn't remember' whether he was driving at the time. He was interviewed by his Chief Superintendent and the charge was dropped. This from yesterday's Daily Mail.
angel, Aug 24 2001

       UnaBubba: It doesn't follow, because I've pointed out an inconsistency in your post, that I back a particular idea .   

       You claimed that this idea was baked, only to write that it didn't work. To call an idea baked, the idea must exist in the form proposed...and work. Neither false claims, nor the fact that some were foolish enough to buy something based on these claims, bake ideas. What's more, the fact that the stealth bomber was shot down only confirms that this idea is not yet baked.   

       Whether it CAN be baked is the question. And I don't think it can. I think this idea is a WIBNI.
iuvare, Aug 24 2001

       //Stealth paint for cars is baked and it doesn't work. or am I missing something?//   

       No you're not. I was missing something and realized it after reading your last post: a radar-proof finish is, essentially, what snarfyguy's proposing. It's also, essentially a paint job, and baked as you mentioned. Hat tip for the clarification (and your patience.)
iuvare, Aug 27 2001

       Good point, correction noted.   

       An idea may be considered baked simply if it's been proposed before. Properly functioning means that, not only has it been proposed, it's brought to fruition. The latter is a more complete form of bakedness.
iuvare, Aug 27 2001

       I'd say that baked requires it to actually be functioning. Otherwise, I could say that this fan on my desk is a FTL drive, and that makes it baked.
StarChaser, Aug 27 2001

       ...I originally thought so myself, but after reconsidering, I felt the definition ought to be a little more encompassing. In particular, I was thinking of ideas that were considered "baked" because they were proposed in sci-fi arenas for years. These ideas were never ever properly functioning, but they HAD been proposed, and consequently, they were considered baked and I agreed.   

       I'm not convinced I've nailed down a definition of bakedness. My original one was too restricting; my revised, too broad. Your objections, however, are helping me get a better grasp of something I have taken for granted.
iuvare, Aug 27 2001

       I call them 'half baked' if they've been proposed in books or TV. To me, it has to be functioning at least in part, or it isn't baked.
StarChaser, Sep 04 2001

       At least let's not bake a snark ("Just the place for a snark! I have said it thrice. What I tell you three times is true.") There's always a market for I'm-gonna-speed-anyway devices, from (early) broadband police-freq radios and radar sensors to (ahem) folk tech such as tinfoil-in-the-hubcaps and coat hangers in place of radio aerials. The one I'm waiting for is the W.C. Fields Experiment device: switch it on, your car disappears -- and reappears in Philadelphia.
whatsbruin, Sep 04 2001

       I thought the 'coat hanger instead of the antenna' was a folk response to 'I broke it'.
StarChaser, Sep 08 2001

       we had a chinese guy from the states as electrical engineering professor at our university, and his speciality was radar ... he was on the team that developed the latest generation stealth fighters at northrop (the nicer looking wing-only ones that came after the f-117). of course the whole secret was not to be gotten out of him, but he provided some answers: 1. why did the f-117 look all edgy whereas the next generation is nice and round? check it out: when the f-117 was developed, the math needed to simulate the behavior of rounded surfaces towards radar beams was not yet available. together with a russian immigrant mathematician he developed a better theory of radar reflection, dissipation & absorption so the next generation could be build aerodynamically correct. 2. what is the secret of the radar-absorbent coating? very unsatisfying answer: the secret is the structure of the whole plane. the absorbent coating is designed around an inner structure tuned to have a resonance-minimum in the radar band. so just the absorbent coating won't give the desired result. so there goes the stealth car ... let's just stick with radar & laser jammers. they're baked to perfection, only piezos in the road won't be impressed (we have those in germany, too). but: they always have to be linked to a camera that takes a picture of the license plate and the driver. the camera needs a flash (even in daytime) and that's where the counter-flash comes into play: a photo-diode registers the flash of a speed trap camera and quickly sets of flashlights mounted above the license plate while the camera shutter is still open. the result is a white-out where the license plate used to be ... no license plate, no ticket! and the best part: this is not a half-baked idea, the systems are being sold (illegaly) and they, too, are baked to perfection. pedal to the metal.
konfusius, Jun 30 2002

       There is more to making as minimum radar cross-section that just shape. Materials exist (sometimes based on ferrites) that absorb and dissapate radar signals. It is theoretically possible to make goop for a car, but you'd need to cover the whole damn thing! The stealth bomber is vunlerable to a system based on (in laypersons terms) watching it blot out background radiation from the sky. IIRC this is 'passive background radar'. Piezo pickups work fine embedded in concrete, or just glued to it, btw.
pfperry, Jul 01 2002

       If you cover your car with charcoal like used for bar-b-que to a thickness of 1 foot, you will acheive a high level of microwave absorbtion. The problem is that you can't look out the windsheild, and getting in and out will result in a lot of dirt and grime. 1 foot of charcoal makes a great absorber for EMC testing in a pinch.
amuron, Dec 31 2002

       Stealth car, sort of!! Radar works better at slight angles. As a car approaches a stationary radar source until it is at an angle of 70 degrees (or more) you are visable for speed reading, but as you get parallel to a stationary radar, maybe 90 degrees to 120 degrees, radar guns usually do not display a speed within this angle. If you are speeding more than 30 miles an hour over the limit any officer could estimate your speed at less than 100 feet. A Stealth net made with radar absorbing ferrite nylon and an active jammer could sometimes hide or mask your speed. With the net covering the front end of your car you would have much less reflective area for radar. I have seen this net only one time. It was at a philadelphia car show in 94. Someone needs to sell these again. Salesman held a detector and a radar gun and with the net between them all radar was absorbed. Detector did not alarm. Remove the net, detector went off. Net would have to be all band absorbant. Not sure this one was. In my own experiments following a slower car, approaching radar with an active jammer on, the slower moving car past the k band radar first and displayed his speed and as I went past a few seconds later no speed was displayed. It was masked, sort of. The kill zone for low powered stationary radar is 1000 feet to maybe 20 or less feet up to 70 degrees (almost parallel). If you mask (with a ferrite net and an active jammer) and slow down to within 10 to 15 miles of the speed limit chances are when a speed reading is taken you are in the 70 degrees to 90 degree mark and no speed will be displayed. You should have a few seconds to correct your speed if it is not overly excessive with these counter measures even in a one on one ambush starting at 1000 feet. This includes you slowing down, having the net and an active jammer with radar warning. If there is a slower moving car ahead of you and he gets to the radar first all the better chance of no radar reading of your car. If you are within 50 or so feet after he passes first. I am not suggesting this will always work or that anyone should try any of this, unless on a closed course with all the legal permits, or break any laws. Just that there is a masked area in radar and that being stealth is a possibility. Stealth car? Sort of.... --Adventurer_guy, October, 15 2003
adventurer_guy, Oct 15 2003

       You don't need a stealth car. Just get a Reliant Robin and drive that everywhere on the motorways. You will never get done for speeding and you will also be have the pleasure of being able to drive flat out.
telemann, Jan 01 2004

       I remember a British Bike magazine doing an article on a 'stealth bike' which included a rubberised coating to bodywork similar to that found on the Blackbird Stealth plane, copper mesh across things like the headlight and indicators (which act as great reflectors of radar waves) - the idea behind the mesh was that if the pitch was right it would absorb, dissapate or otherwise render useless the return radar waves. There were other bits considered including reflectors on tyre rims - which could give false readings - I'd love to scan and post a copy but I fear I no longer have it. Anyway, the end result was that on a bike, the radar signature can be reduced and therefore you'd be a lot closer to the trap before they would get a reading, which means more time to get onto the brakes and scrub off some speed. Already half baked, I'd say
p1stonbroke, Jan 01 2004

       no custard! so sad...   

       happy new year, snarfy! belated +1
po, Jan 01 2004

       The idea is baked because it has been done and it does work. Same guys that made the planes did it in the late 80's-early 90's: spead, cop knew they were speeding even though his gun didn't go off, pulled them over, and they got in a lot of trouble at work.   

       Technically there isn't too much required to make an ok stealth car that will get you inside the range of a radar dector and allow you to reduce your speed before the gun will lock on. This reduction in range is the real goal here. The laser presents other problems to which I have probable solutions but cannot post here. Anyway, the idea of a stealth car is and was baked.
azmatsci, Jan 05 2004


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