Advances in Camouflage Science and Engineering
Organised by IOM Communications on behalf of the Defence, Safety and Security Committee of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
This focussed event, delivered by the Defence Safety and Security Committee of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining will address the following three themes:
Materials science & technology for camouflage.
The objective is to engage scientists from the fields including materials, biology and cognition.
At the fundamental level materials science has over the past two decades made important advances in tunable materials (e.g. electrochromics, thermochromics), biomimetic materials (inspired by marine and avian fauna and insects) and improved understanding of human cognition. Metamaterials have established themselves as a new field of research with significant potential for signature management, as have smart textiles with integrated electronic functionality. New concepts of multifunctionality have been developed but so far not implemented. These advances have been paralleled by advances in materials for threat sensors in an ever wider spectral range.
Camouflage engineering & systems.
The objective is to engage manufactures & suppliers of camouflage systems, i.e. industry.
While classic camouflage material (nets, textiles for uniforms, surface coatings, etc) is still essential, modern material faces new challenges of mobility, unpredictable operation environments and asymmetric warfare. New manufacturing technologies (printing, pattern creation, temporary coatings and multifunctionality and additive manufacturing) may offer new opportunities to meet current budgetary limitations.
Holistic camouflage including deception.
The objective is to review all aspects of camouflage, since recent military operations have not really benefitted from the current focus on reduction of contrast with the background.
Deception for example seems to be a topic which has been neglected for many years. Recent and on-going military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East have not benefitted greatly from camouflage due mainly to the assymetric nature of these conflicts and technologically unsophisticated (but highly innovative) opposing forces. Camouflage is much more than simply avoiding detection. This is in many situations unavoidable if the military objective is to be achieved. The main purpose of camouflage is to avoid and/or detection-identification-attack-defeat and to make conflict so costly to the opponent that the situation must be resolved by non-violent means.
The Role of Camourflage in Modern Battlefield Survivability (PDF 1.2mb)
Prof Ian Horsfall, Cranfield University
Visit the event website for full details.