High-tech military camouflage undergoes rigorous testing to save lives

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In a bid to protect military personnel and safeguard assets in hostile environments, the critical aspect of undetectability cannot be underestimated.

Now, Teledyne FLIR integrator Thermal Vision Research and leading protective equipment manufacturer for military applications, BCB International, are striving to provide that elusive factor of invisibility.

BCB International: Over a century and a half of camouflage innovation

Having been in the industry for 160 years, BCB International brings significant experience in developing camouflage materials.

Their bespoke products can effectively conceal both equipment and personnel across a range of different wavelengths, ensuring both secrecy and safety.

Beyond human sight: The crucial role of thermography in camouflage

In high-risk environments, moving undetected is vital. This goes beyond human sight and regular surveillance methods.

With advancements in camouflage technologies, the capability to transcend thermography and achieve true invisibility is the next frontier.

It’s noteworthy that as camouflage technologies have improved, so has thermography.

Its ability to better pinpoint anomalies and provide insights when needed most has greatly enhanced.

Yet in this context, the ultimate goal is not to be seen at all.

Testing camouflage with state-of-the-art thermal imaging

Through a custom rig built by TVR using thermal imaging cameras, BCB International is able to test their latest and most advanced camouflage netting.

The focus here is to observe what appears under thermography and how effective the netting is.

To achieve this, three different thermal imaging cameras are utilised, each operating at different wavelengths: a shortwave, medium wave and long wave application.

The approach streamlines critical testing in both lab and field environments, detecting anomalies from -45°C to 70°C.

Rigorous quality control: Ensuring camouflage withstands extreme conditions

BCB’s range of high-tech camouflage materials is designed to be fire-resistant with anti-thermal properties, concealing troops and equipment in almost any environment.

To ensure this, BCB collaborated with TVR in a closed environment, with the thermal imaging rig set up at a distance of 10 metres.

Andrew Howell, Managing Director of BCB International, elaborated: “We need to see what shows up by thermal imaging so we can see what accurately conceals and what doesn’t – and for this, we use thermography.”

Matthew Clavey, Director of Thermal Vision Research, added: “Whether the camouflage netting is being deployed over a tank or over artillery or supplies, they’ll invariably have different wavelength requirements.

“This is why it’s so important to test the heat emissivity of different materials across the spectrum of thermographic wavelengths.”

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