Quantum Stealth material designed to make target invisible

Discussion in 'General Science' started by Wendy, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Wendy

    Thread Starter Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,766
    2,536
  2. Blofeld

    Active Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    82
    18
    It seems they actually made it work :D

    [​IMG]
     
  3. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Did you see the epsiode of "Top Gear" British car show where they did the James Bond cars?

    Near the end of the show they got a van and covered it with large screen plasma TV screens, with a generator inside to run all the screens and of course the screens echoed the image from camperas on the other side of the vehicle. From the sides you could still see the wheels etc but from the back (with nothing at all visible but the screens) it was almost completely invisible at first glance! They had to have police cars escorting it for safety.

    [​IMG]

    The video;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsMoo5jEKHg[url]
     
  4. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,788
    4,807
    The problem with that approach, as the picture clearly shows, is that it is only "invisible" from one point of view. Two people standing a few feet apart and looking at the same point on the side of the van would need to see two potentially very different things in order for both to be seeing what is on the other side of the van along their line of sight. Now, in some environments, say out in a field, the descrepancies would be much harder to spot, though if the van is moving they become pretty easy to detect.

    The last Mission Impossible movie addressed this pretty well when they pulled their trick in a hallway down from a guard station. They supposedly had a camera that was tracking where the guard's eyes were and moved a camera behind the screen accordingly in order to project an image from just the right perspective in order to fool him. Now, this has lots of its own perspective problems that they ignored, but it was still nice to see a decent attempt as well as showing how it falls apart as soon as you have to try to deal with two sets of eyes.

    As for the phys.org article -- pure snake oil as far as I'm concerned. The burden of providing convincing evidence is on them and until they do that, their "media mock ups" are now more evidence of reality than the latest stuff coming out of DreamWorks or ILM. I've long since given up on pretty much anything on phys.org as representing anything solidly based in fact. I'm sure that stuff exists on the site, but like the supermarket rags, it gets lost in the clutter of crap and tainted via guilt-by-association.
     
  5. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Absolutely, and re that van they also made the camera zoom wrong so the displayed image was not a perfect fit.

    However from the back of the van (see the video) where there were no obvious cues from the wheels or shadows under the van it was really easy to completely dismiss it. When people drive they focus on "looking for cars" and their brain filters out non-car objects as being "nothing there".

    I've heard/seen of this happening with car drivers looking at motorcycle riders and was shocked a bit watching that video I found myself ignoring the van and looking through it a couple of times. Maybe not invisible as such but "invisible" enough on the roads to be terribly dangerous.

    Yeah I saw that movie and enjoyed the way they showed that device! It would even be workable technology done at some distance in a darkish hallway but I doubt it would ever work that well up close due to edge issues.
     
  6. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,347
    6,835
    This reminds me of a camoflage method examined by some military people. They merely used lamps to make an object the same brightness as the background, and it worked well enough at half a kilometer or more. This method should work at less than half a kilometer, but the angle of the fooled observer is rather narrow.
     
  7. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
    17,788
    4,807
    Agreed.

    After seeing the movie with some friends, one of them remarked that what we was waiting to see was a movie to come out called, "Mission Improbable".

    It would be great to see a movie (or TV show) that really tries to take existing capabilities and restrict the plot to only those. I'd be willing to let them perhaps project ahead a bit and use capabilities that are truly expected to exist in the next, say, decade. Or to let them use capabilities that could exist today if costs were less of a limiting factor.

    I think you could write lots of good stories, but it would be a lot more work for the writers and others compared to just being able to "image enhance" the fuzzy security camera photo taken from two blocks away, at night, and get the VIN number off the plate on the dashboard. Or always having someone that can hack into any computer in the world and for whom cracking "high-level military-grade encryption" requires them to work over night on it. I think about the only thing that is worse is that these same shows, in the commentaries, go on and on about how they spend so much time being accurate in all the fine details of the science.
     
Loading...