Visual Signature Reduction Technology using Dynamic Camouflage Coatings
Photochromic technologies that can modulate absorption, emission and reflection properties show promise as a means to achieve visual signature reduction for vessel in an oceanic environment. Dynamically changing the vessel"s color, brightness, and hull coating patterns will minimize a vessel's contrast to its surroundings. Appropriate selections of Performance Indicator's photochromic technologies, augmented with commercially available photochromic dyes, will be assessed in a series of laboratory and full-scale tests for their suitability to quantifiably reduce a submersible"s overall visual signature. Key material characteristics such as wavelength (or color), response time, stability, compatibility, and cost will be analyzed and catalogued correlating to a typical submersible"s operating profile. Given that visual stealth is most important in littoral environments, application techniques and testing methods which characterize littoral environments needed for material design choices will also be evaluated. Additionally, environmental factors which affect coating performance and test design including light absorption and scattering due to suspended inorganic and biological materials in the water column, will be evaluated. Coating qualification requirements identified from Phase IA will be applied to the appropriate chemical formulation(s) for use in tactical environments. The project will culminate in a full-scale demonstration in a relevant marine environment.
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