Magazine article National Defense

New Textile Shields Troops from Sensors

Magazine article National Defense

New Textile Shields Troops from Sensors

Article excerpt

* A new textile technology could help soldiers blend in with their surroundings by reducing their heat signatures.

The Conceal camouflage technology, created by Milliken & Company and SSZ Camouflage, does not entirely mask a heat signature. However, it enables the fabric to mimic the surface temperature of the surrounding environment.

With the advancement of various sensors, it has become easier for troops to be identified by enemy forces, said Erik Cobham, a military liaison For Milliken.

Aside from protecting soldiers from being detected by thermal imaging devices, the technology also provides some concealment in the visible, near and shortwave infrared regions of the spectrum, the company said in a news release.

It functions in both cold and warm climates and can be adapted to different environments by varying the color of the fabric. The masking effect is "generally instant," though changes in the user's body temperature can affect how quickly it works, according to the Milliken team.

The practicality of Conceal camouflage technology is in part what makes it valuable. "We can actually put it on the current uniform that's in service right now. …

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