Print 36 comment(s) - last by Cheex.. on Jul 5 at 2:05 PM

Want to hide your space cruiser from sight? We're getting there.

One of the most enticing tenants of sci-fi has always been invisibility. Whether it's a Klingon Bird of Prey or a Panther Modern's mimetic polycarbon, the theoretical effect is the same: to hide the user from sight. While one mostly sees such technology being used for military purposes in books and movies, there are some applications that are grounded in reality.

One approach to creating a cloaking device is using something called a superlens. A superlens has what's called a negative refraction index. This allows it to bend electromagnetic waves back upon themselves, in effect, using interference to render an object invisible.

Graeme Milton, of the University of Utah, is working on mathematical models for superlenses. Thus far, the technology is not shaping up to be something that would be feasible for hiding something large, like naval destroyers. "We've seen it numerically -- not in practice, but we've got a theoretical proof that collections of particles become invisible," said Milton of their superlens work.

While superlensing may not be the answer for making warships invisible, work with metamaterials looks like it may hold more promise for large objects. A group at Duke University, led by David Smith, has used copper-based metamaterials to create something of a cloaking cylinder.

Similar to the University of Maryland's plasmon-based cloaking device, the Duke team's metamaterial cylinder causes microwaves to be bent around itself rather than reflected. The cylinder has microscopic patterns on its surface and these patterns act to redirect the waves striking it, rather than allowing them to bounce off.

While the Duke cylinder is not perfect -- it still suffers from distortion which can be seen in microwave images -- it does have implications for some real applications. The devices could be used to prevent objects from causing electromagnetic interference. For example, hiding two antennas from each other, or cloaking an object that obstructs cell phone reception.

While the technology is not mature, Smith's group says it also has similar implications for bending sound waves around an object. Creative uses could act to prevent sound from escaping in a certain direction or hide an object from echolocation technology like sonar.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By MrBowmore on 7/3/2008 8:25:21 AM , Rating: 1
Maximum STEALTH!

RE: Weeeeee
By WayneG on 7/3/2008 8:51:26 AM , Rating: 2
until you get shot by a Korean soldier

RE: Weeeeee
By Mitch101 on 7/3/2008 10:33:37 AM , Rating: 3
Fooled you it was a "Holo-Duke!"

RE: Weeeeee
By MrPoletski on 7/5/2008 10:07:13 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Weeeeee
By bighairycamel on 7/3/2008 8:58:17 AM , Rating: 4
"Huh, what was that?"

" ! "


RE: Weeeeee
By pwnsweet on 7/3/2008 12:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
I like this post very much

RE: Weeeeee
By lagitup on 7/5/2008 1:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
does that mean i wont get flamed for asking if their cylinder can run crysis?

Look what I've found!
By FaceMaster on 7/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: Look what I've found!
By LeviBeckerson on 7/3/2008 7:36:26 AM , Rating: 2
If I recall correctly, and I may not, that cloak uses a projection system rather than light-bending techniques.

RE: Look what I've found!
By ShadowZERO on 7/3/2008 7:45:34 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like they took 2 separate videos, one of the background image projected onto a screen, and the other with the person standing in front, then superimposed one onto the other.

Or something. I just guessed, but seems easy enough to do.

RE: Look what I've found!
By LeviBeckerson on 7/3/2008 8:07:35 AM , Rating: 2
That's the essence of it. I remember reading an article somewhere last year where they were using a similar tech to hide tanks.

It's basically live, re-projected video onto a special surface. The Japanese cloak uses some sort of 3D structure I think. It was on digg a few days ago.

RE: Look what I've found!
By AntiM on 7/3/2008 8:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
I think it should be almost feasible today. You have a flexible LCD display, almost fabric like. It could even be cloth with small fiber optice strands woven into it. At some point it could be sewn together and worn just like any garment. For now, let's say it's a simple poncho type of thing. Attach a camera to the user to capture what's behind the user, and display that from the flexible LCD display. It wouldn't be perfect, but I'll bet a person standing in a field would go unnoticed. You could even cover a tank or any vehicle with the flexible display material. We already have the miniture camera technology, the only hump is developing a robust flexible display.

RE: Look what I've found!
By luhar49 on 7/3/2008 11:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
This cloaking stuff will only work for smaller objects like a vehicle or humans. A cloak is only good to hide from somebody's line of sight but not from a radar or sonar which is a more common intrusion detection system.

So it would be silly to hide a warship with a cloak when a submarine can easily see it on its radar.

2 questions on this subject
By marvdmartian on 7/3/2008 10:42:33 AM , Rating: 2
First, will they have to de-cloak when they fire weapons??

And second, I'm confused by this statement:
Thus far, the technology is not shaping up to be something that would be feasible for hiding something large, like naval destroyers.

WTH does cloaking have to do with things that destroy belly buttons??? ;)

RE: 2 questions on this subject
By VV115 on 7/3/08, Rating: 0
RE: 2 questions on this subject
By Hare on 7/3/2008 2:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
LOL speak vocabulary (v1.0)
winking smiley
1. to indicate that someone is not all too serious about the past few sentences.

RE: 2 questions on this subject
By Smartless on 7/3/2008 3:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
First, Unless he has the Bird of Prey from Star Trek 6 which proves that I'm a dork. haha. Of course, he could just fire a torpedo up your exhaust pipe.

Second, Silly rabbit, their after the evil naval oranges. :P

By DuddleyFuddle on 7/3/2008 9:43:49 AM , Rating: 3
The first application would be to cloak really bad English. Tenants? Don't ruin an article that is otherwise well done. Try tenets.

RE: tenants?
By Spivonious on 7/3/2008 10:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
heh, maybe he meant that cloaking is a denizen of the sci-fi genre.

I hate gullible people
By TimberJon on 7/3/2008 12:21:31 PM , Rating: 3
Many of whom are paranoid or just plain lonely.

Believing that "secret antigravity helicopters" exist, when its photoshopped and somehow only one guy managed to get into a high-security airfield and get the picture up close..


Cloaking suits..

Next im going to see BattleTech videos claiming we really do have bipedal tanks but that they're hidden underground somewhere. As much as I'd want to, I know I wont be seeing those anytime soon.

RE: I hate gullible people
By SlyNine on 7/4/2008 1:49:04 AM , Rating: 2
Or god forbid, someone tell us the earth isn't flat anymore. Or that some day man will fly, use devices to talk from across the earth ( flat earth that is). We have to stop with all this nonsense that we will developed new technologies that will allow that witch was once imposable, to be possible.

By monitorjbl on 7/3/2008 1:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
...for the Neuromancer reference. Great book.

*Puts on tin foil nut cup*
By phaxmohdem on 7/3/2008 4:13:06 PM , Rating: 2
I for one am scared, has no one else seen the Star Trek TNG episode: "When the Bough Breaks?"

Cloaking == Sterility!

(And I for one don't want to have to steal Wesley Crusher to continue our legacy :S Extinction sounds preferable personally.)

Ayyyh Captain....
By makots on 7/3/2008 4:47:55 PM , Rating: 2
Ayyyy Captain first the bloody Romulans, now the larks can cloak a porta potty too!!!!

Project Rainbow revisited
By Titanius on 7/3/2008 5:38:18 PM , Rating: 2
When I hear about cloaking and such, I always think of the Philadelphia Project.

old news rehashed
By random git on 7/5/2008 5:37:20 AM , Rating: 2
The duke microwave bending cylinder was published well over a year ago and if I remember correctly it was also covered here on dailytech.

By Cheex on 7/5/2008 2:05:47 PM , Rating: 2

US Army Optic Camo
By VV115 on 7/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: US Army Optic Camo
By KaiserCSS on 7/3/2008 9:38:58 AM , Rating: 3
Or, perhaps, just perhaps, it's compression artifacts and bad video quality. That's just me though.

The Army does not have a cloaking suit. Go back to playing Crysis.

RE: US Army Optic Camo
By pxavierperez on 7/3/2008 10:09:16 AM , Rating: 2
I'm kind of agreeing with KaiserCSS. The camera was static and with the subject running rather quickly you can have that kind compression error. But who knows, right.

RE: US Army Optic Camo
By VV115 on 7/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: US Army Optic Camo
By BioHazardous on 7/3/2008 9:55:55 AM , Rating: 5
That was the stupidest video I've ever seen. I have now lost 4 minutes of my life thanks to your post.

You'll be hearing from my attorney.

You also have a court order to cease and desist from posting stupid crap like that ever again.

RE: US Army Optic Camo
By codeThug on 7/4/2008 1:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
you get what you pay for

RE: US Army Optic Camo
By cparka23 on 7/3/2008 10:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe the soldiers were protecting the crew of a tank that ran over an IED. Ever consider that? Are they supposed to keep driving like it's a fender bender on the freeway?

As for the camouflage, I'm no army-contracted engineer. I just think something like that would require bigger equipment than something that could be sewn into a suit.

Insurgents been playing too much D&D. +1 cloak of invisibility, yeah right.

RE: US Army Optic Camo
By edpsx on 7/3/2008 8:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
I find it funny how this video was taken down now.

This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.

What was "use violation" about it?

RE: US Army Optic Camo
By Noya on 7/4/2008 12:36:20 PM , Rating: 3
Big brother...?

"DailyTech is the best kept secret on the Internet." -- Larry Barber

Latest Headlines

Most Popular ArticlesAre you ready for this ? HyperDrive Aircraft
September 24, 2016, 9:29 AM
Leaked – Samsung S8 is a Dream and a Dream 2
September 25, 2016, 8:00 AM
Inspiron Laptops & 2-in-1 PCs
September 25, 2016, 9:00 AM
Snapchat’s New Sunglasses are a Spectacle – No Pun Intended
September 24, 2016, 9:02 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki