- Scientists used materials that use electricity to build a temperature difference
- They squeezed them between stretchy sheets of that are like wax
- The device is able to heat up or cool down to match the external temperature
- Researchers how to make whole jackets using their innovation
Soldiers could soon go unnoticed by night vision goggles while on the battleground.
Scientists have made a wearable device that quickly heats up or cools down to match ambient temperatures, concealing the wearer’s body heat.
Designed as a wireless gadget, the technology can be implanted in fabric and is able of going from 50 to 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a minute.
Researchers intend to create a jacket using the material that would make the wearer unseen to heat-detecting sensors.
Metamaterial‐based thermal camouflage keeps great promise but their applications on human subjects are yet to be comprehended, says the study published in the journal Materials Advanced Functional by the University of California San Diego.
‘Direct temperature control signifies a more needed strategy to realize dynamically adjustable camouflage within an extensive ambient temperature range, but a portable, wearable and adjustable thermo‐regulation system that is appropriate for human subjects has not been developed.’
This effort demonstrates a wearable and adaptive infrared camouflage device reacting to the background temperature change centered on the thermoelectric cooling and heating effect.’
Though the outside fabric would either heat up or cool down, the team says the wearer will be at a comfortable temperature in the article of clothing.
The exterior layer of the device is made of thermoelectric alloys—materials that use electricity to build a temperature difference—sandwiched between elastic elastomer sheets.
And it would be battery-powered and handled using a wireless circuit board.
The present state of the art heat camouflage technology comprises of a surface coating that changes how much heat clothing produces at the surface.
The coating takes in the heat from the wearer’s body and returns only enough energy to match the ambient temperature.
Though, the coating only works at a prearranged temperature – if there is a change in the ambient temperature, the technology renders unusable.
However, researchers at the University of California have discovered their biggest challenge – how to step up the technology.
Their aim is to create a jacket with the technology built-in, but under existing conditions, the garment would weigh nearly 4.5 lbs., be around 5 millimeters thick and only perform for one hour.
The team will be searching to find lighter, thinner materials so the clothing could weigh two or three times less.