Visual Signature Reduction Technology using Dynamic Camouflage Coatings
Small Business Information
4 Tirrell Place, Durham, NH, 03824
AbstractUndersea vehicles, such as submarines, are vulnerable to visual detection in littoral waters. As a tactical aid, static camouflage patterns can be painted on vessel hulls to better blend the vessel to its environment. However, static patterns are not able to adapt to environmental conditions. As a means to greatly advance stealth, a new class of dynamic (adaptive) coatings will be developed to respond to various stimuli resulting in automatic color and brightness adaptation as a function of depth via photochromic activation. Further enhancements reducing visual perception include rendering the photochromic materials in fractal brightness and color. The development of useful environmentally stable photochromic coatings will provide a baseline to supplement, whenever possible, additional means to control the coatings' contrast through changes in temperature (thermochromic) and through operator activation (electrochromic). Given the complexity of modeling the littoral environment, a fully instrumented university laboratory will be used to replicate conditions for simulated depths up to 150 feet. To ensure a robust, cost effective design, a proven systems engineering approach will be used to provide the Navy a coating which can operate in a variety of mission profiles while being easy for maintenance providers to apply and maintain.
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