Since about 5% of our church's members are currently in harms way this technology certainly improves the quality of life around me. We have a little different view of the cause of war and disease.
Having just finished the book "Unbroken", I can definitely see where the quality of life in this country and in Japan was immeasurably improved by the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (high tech war). Reading a first hand account of what was going on in Japan before the Emperor decided to make peace was a real eye opener.
So this technology is no waste of resources and has immediate payback.
I am glad there are other people who agree with my cause... To me, the real problem is over-population of our planet, which tends to create war and conquest. But we have seen war in areas with low population density over territory, resources, religion, or simply a misunderstanding or different point of view. As 'Human Beings' we need to evolve out of our tendency towards war and conflict, allow people to live their own lives, respect their territory, their resources, and beliefs - even if they are different than ours.
Stealth and protection against heat seaking missles is important. If our society continues the way it is going, I may need some for my SUV.
Until then, I would like to see money spent on stem cell research to heal my moms rheumatoid arthritis, and grow a new ACL in my left knee...
I agree with Greg. It's amazing what we can afford when it's for the sake of "defense." Apparently we have made the decision as a society that having the ability to project overwhelming military force to any point in the globe is more important than just about anything else, despite the fact that our biggest enemies are armed with things like box cutters. We don't want our government to be too big, but we apparently want it to be armed to the teeth, and, while we aren't willing to pay any more taxes, we are apparently willing to pay any price (in money borrowed from the Chinese, of course) to achieve this.
Maybe I am just jealous, since I work in an industry where we have to sell products to consumers who don't have near-infinite sums of money at their disposal.
Politics aside, I'd be interested to see some power consumption numbers. It's easy to say that the power consumption isn't so bad once the system is running, but what do the numbers say? I don't see how an active system like this can fail to devour energy.
This seems like a lot of trouble to go to in order to camoflage the vehicle in the IR spectrum, when there are still plenty of obvious, low-tech ways to detect it (it's still visible, and it still makes noise). And this wouldn't protect a vehicle from IEDs, which seem to be one of the biggest real-world threats.
I predict that this will allow BAE to impress enough Department of Defense officials to guarantee that the government will continue to direct massive sums of money towards them, but I doubt it will actually protect anyone who is in harm's way.
Also, for an article with the word "material" in the title, there was very little detail about the actual materials used.
Greg, I can promise you that being harder to see and target provides a MAJOR IMPROVEMENT in the quality of life for those in a combat zone. Being invisible would be better but that has hazards as well.
WE could have a lot of stem cell treatments today if various groups were not so opposed to it. The worst is that the opposition is for financial and political reasons, although many will refuse to admit that.
Many stories during the war of tricks like parking dummy tanks and planes to trick the enemy into thinking your forces were either stronger or somewhere that you wanted them to think you were. Cheap vehicles carrying this system could fool your enemies into thinking you were somewhere where you are not!
Hide the plume, perhaps it can be cooled, and perhaps spread on the ground on the far side of any enemy radar...
Better hide, or transform, the vehicle sounds while you are at it...
Mimicking the back ground is needed otherwise as the "box" moves along a distortion area will be detected...I am referring to the fact that an outline can be seen, and that the space outlined does not look like the back drop....
How vast can it change images... if one is going to mimic the background, the system must be fast enough to display the background in a realistic way.
Somewhat off topic: One could conceivably make an image of small cars going faster or slower that the cloaked vehicle... but it would be difficult to deal really well with the edges vehicle's silhouette...
There is no technology needed to avoid detection by building motion detectors. Just move real slow and you can move through a room full of motion detectors without being detected...
I used to have IR detectors downstairs and around a previous house and experimented quite a bit with the sensitivity level to avoid detecting pets and other critters scurrying around, but found that they are easily fooled when you reduce your normal speed of movement, since usually their detection is based on the amount of change per time per segment they monitor. So a slow-moving big object does produce the same levels as a quick moving smaller object. In other words, either have the false negatives of smart slow-moving tresspassing humans, or have the false positives of every cat or other animal moving around. Not a sleep-enhancing trade-off...
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