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Is that cow really a tank? Kill it!

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A new British "invisibility cloak" infra-red system, Adaptiv, makes it possible to disguise military vehicles as large animals such as cows, even while moving. This has the potential during warfare to get a lot of animals killed, just to play safe.

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Great...more ways to be stupid.

Tell me, am I still a misanthrope if I hate people, but don't want them to be killed (and have a generally negative view on those that do), or think that "animals are better"?

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I think it's just a silly headline; if it makes you feel any better, if a cow is machine gunned to death in a war zone, it's mostly likely because some soldiers got bored.

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Those cows are moving 30 MPH!

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I'm puzzled as to how they expect this to work for a moving tank (the write-up just mentions a tank at rest on low idle). The pixels "change their temperature"; for that to be useful, they'd have to be able to _cool_ themselves. So far, not a huge problem; Peltier coolers do that. But the heat still has to go somewhere, so if you're moving under power you're going to have a "cow" that's putting out hundreds of kilowatts of body heat. Not terribly convincing.

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It sounded like one of the tests only had the fake thermal image on one side, although I don't know if that is how it is intended to be used in the field. It is also possible to store some heat, but wouldn't last very long before the whole inside of the tank gets pretty warm, at least when running at full power. Or maybe do a better job of venting the heat into the air which is harder to notice if done carefully

It is also possible it is playing some tricks with emissivity. While, roughly speaking, all things of the same temperature give off the same thermal spectrum, some emit it brighter than others, and some thermal measuring equipment makes assumptions about this that can be messed with using low emissivity. Although the images make the tile look black, which tends to suggest high emissivity, at least with common materials.

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Disguise a tank as a bear... and any soldier who plays World of Warcraft will aggro on it anyway. >:3

Smile! The world could use another happy person.

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About the author

Fred (Fred Patten)read storiescontact (login required)

a retired former librarian from North Hollywood, California, interested in general anthropomorphics