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EDA studying ‘Predator suit' adaptive camouflage systems

The European Defence Agency (EDA) is considering how future soldier technologies could support adaptive camouflage systems to better protect dismounted personnel, industry officials said.

Speaking as a member of the EDA’s Adaptive Camouflage for the Soldier (ACAMS II) consortium at SMI’s virtual Future Soldier Technology conference in March, Dr Max Winkelmann, signatorics scientist at Fraunhofer IOSB, explained that battle management systems (BMSs) and soldier modernisation ensembles could be combined to create adaptive camouflage.

ACAMS II, which was initiated in 2018 and recently underwent evaluation with the Portuguese Army, aims to integrate active and passive adaptation solutions into a textile-based camouflage system to reduce visual, near infrared, shortwave infrared, thermal infrared, and radar signatures.

Winkelmann described the objective of ACAMS II as designing a ‘Predator suit’ as opposed to a ‘Harry Potter cloak’. He said challenges included power consumption, thermal signatures, stability, and wiring.

According to Winkelmann, BMS technology could be used to automatically generate information regarding mission-specific environments and backgrounds, which could be fed directly into ACAMS II.

He said ACAMS II could be integrated into legacy and future soldier modernisation ensembles to overcome constraints concerning power supply, weight, and integration. Winkelmann warned that EDA’s initial solution, which provides protection against near-infrared sensors, could be adversely affected by temperatures and abrasion.

The ACAMS II consortium, which includes the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Lithuanian Textile Institute for Physical Sciences and Technology, and Technological Center of the Textile and Clothing Industries of Portugal (CITEVE), aims to “integrate several active and passive adaptation mechanisms into a textile-based soldier camouflage system”.

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