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Battleship would be invisible to the eye, radar, produce no heat signature and make no sound

The ultimate in camouflage for military purposes would be complete invisibility. Invisibility has been a major factor in fiction going back to ancient Greek mythologies to contemporary science fiction. While we are far away from space ships capable of intergalactic travel like Stargate Atlantis, a clocking device may be closer than you think.

Metamaterials refract light at a negative angle, rather than refracting light like normal materials that can be seen. The properties of metamaterials allow scientists to bend light around objects making them invisible to the naked eye. DailyTech reported on similar technology before when researchers at the University of Maryland were able to cloak a small 10 micrometer circle making it invisible to the eye.

While 10 micrometers is incredibly small, the scientists hope to one day scale the size of the cloak to hide people and objects. This is exactly what researchers at the Britannia Royal Navy College hope to do, but on a much grander scale. The scientist are developing a method to render full battleships invisible to not only the naked eye, but to radar as well. The researchers also hope to mask the sound produced by the ships as well as its heat signature.

If the scientists are able to accomplish the goal, it would mean the British Navy would have battleships invisible to the naked eye, radar, heat-seeking missiles and that produce no noise. If successful, the only indication that the ship is coming would be the water displaced by the ship.

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By Carter642 on 3/4/2008 3:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, a cloaked battleship, very cool! Except for one huge massive glaring thing... The wake!!!! Anyone with a spy satallite or airplane could spot the thing moving through the water when it's under way.

Still, this has to be one of the coolest things in a long time if they can get it to work! Invisible airplanes? Invisible satallites?

RE: Wake?!
By Desslok on 3/4/2008 3:46:43 PM , Rating: 2
According to several amateur satellite watchers the US already has several "stealth" sats that are very hard to near impossible to pick up using regular optics.

RE: Wake?!
By Carter642 on 3/4/2008 4:46:55 PM , Rating: 5
I'd actually read about that type of spy satellite, that technology is more suited to relatively low cross section craft.

I was thinking more along the lines of military communications satellites which need to have large surface area antenna pointed earthward with an unobstructed view. I do have to wonder just what wavelengths this cloak technology works over. If your cloak is opaque to radio, optical and microwave then it's kind of tricky to recieve communications inside not to mention that you can't see out! Also it is worth wondering whether this technology is symmetrical, i.e. can you transmit out of the cloak?

RE: Wake?!
By geddarkstorm on 3/4/2008 5:07:42 PM , Rating: 3
I would imagine that you could keep your antennas uncloaked (by just not making it out of metametal or whatever the stuff is), as it's unlikely they will give much of a signal or be visible at any practical range. By the time they could be seen, you'd be running over the observer.

RE: Wake?!
By HighWing on 3/4/2008 5:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, a cloaked battleship, very cool! Except for one huge massive glaring thing... The wake!!!!

*laughs* thats exactly what I was thinking. If I'm reading this correctly, the material will only refract light that hits IT... which is to say, it would do nothing for the fact that the water moving around it would be rather obvious to spot and even more so the bigger the ship is. Which leads me to ask.... Which bright British naval officer thought this would work at all on a battleship?

RE: Wake?!
By Nik00117 on 3/4/2008 5:12:14 PM , Rating: 2
It has its advtanges.

I mean lets say your a naval captain of a enemy state of Britian and 3 of those ships attack your 5. Well you know roughly where they are, but your only chance to hit them is to fire massive fire at them.

I think military leaders more or less want to hide smaller craft, that when standing still would actually produce later wake or dissplacement.

Also i'ma guess since it "merely refracts light" its not completely invisible so once you get to a distance you won't be fooled. In fact thats prob why its being developed for naval operations and not ground operations.

I believe this is the first step to invisiblity, allbeit it has many flaws the first rifle wasn't perfect was it now?

RE: Wake?!
By InsaneGain on 3/4/2008 6:30:39 PM , Rating: 2
Metamaterial technology is supposed to bend EM energy completely around an object, where it would then continue on as if it had passed straight through, so theoretically the object could be completely invisible. A radar stealth/invisible ship would be a huge advantage on the huge expanses of the ocean as you would have to be quite close to notice the wake, and you wouldn't be able to determine the general area to search in order to ever get that close. It probably wouldn't be used to sneak right up to an enemy boat.

RE: Wake?!
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 3/5/2008 11:23:51 AM , Rating: 2
SONAR anyone?

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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