Mirage turned cloaking device

Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10348
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
Mirage turned cloaking device

First, watch:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YO4TTpYg7g

'Mirage-Effect' Helps Researchers Hide Objects
ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2011)
— Scientists have created a working cloaking device that not only takes advantage of one of nature's most bizarre phenomenon, but also boasts unique features; it has an 'on and off' switch and is best used underwater.
~
The mirage effect, frequently observed in deserts or on long roads in the summer, is an optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky.

Full Article
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003195245.htm

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10348
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
I can't stop thinking about

I can't stop thinking about how cool this video is.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Wonderist
atheist
Wonderist's picture
Posts: 2479
Joined: 2006-03-19
User is offlineOffline
Pretty neat demonstration.

Pretty neat demonstration. Unfortunately, it looks pretty limited. Maybe a clever illusionist could make a great illusion using this trick, but it's limited for most purposes, IMO.

I could imagine it working in one particular circumstance: To disguise a military position as a natural mirage and/or a pool of water. Or simply to make it difficult to visually spy on a military position, rather than being an actual cloaking of its presence. You might see that 'someone' is there, but have no easy way to spy on them with conventional optical scopes.

The major limiting problems are that it would only work from a long distance (in air), and that it would require a lot of  power to keep the heat up in the local air. Plus, the presence of the device itself, in between the spy and the target, alerts the spy as to the presence of the target, and is relatively easy to sabotage.

One other possible use: As a counter-measure against optically-scoped sniper fire. I could see this as maybe a real practical use, for protecting a high-value person such as a political leader. It would be short-term and so the power usage might be worth it.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!


Vastet
atheistBloggerHigh Level ModeratorSuperfan
Vastet's picture
Posts: 10348
Joined: 2006-12-25
User is offlineOffline
From what I saw and

From what I saw and understand, it's more limited than that even. Just having it exposes its existence to thermal detection (though it would likely be capable of being positioned near a known heat source that would make it a lot harder to detect), and I didn't see the article say anything about non-visible light being affected the same way. But it sure is cool all the same.
Have to admit that until this article I hadn't known that those optical illusion "pools" were actually the reflection of the sky. Not that I'd ever put any thought into it before.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.