In a significant development, the IIT-Kanpur researchers have developed “textile-based metamaterials for radar absorption that can be used as uniforms for soldiers and sockets or covers for land vehicles,” according to the institution’s Twitter post.
In other words, soldiers and armored vehicles can use these textile-based metamaterials to avoid detection by enemy radar, motion detection ground sensors and thermal imaging systems.
Support for this indigenous effort comes from the Department of Science and Technology of the Organization for the Development of Defense Research (DRDO). Two leading professors at IIT-K, Kumar Vaibhav Srivastava from the Department of Electrical Engineering, and J Ramkumar from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have carried out this task.
“In an important achievement, we have designed and produced microstructured infrared metamaterials with processes that can be easily scaled so that mass production covers large surfaces. “These infrared metamaterials are applied on any given surface to reduce thermal emission to create infrared sigil,” said Dr. S Anantha Ramakrishna of the IIT-Kanpur Department of Physics, in a conversation with the Hindustan Times.
Additionally, the material is flexible with the potential for customisation depending on the climatic conditions that the armed forces personnel are working under.
In addition to the soldier uniforms and the cover for land vehicles, the researchers are also developing a more robust version of the metamaterial for high-speed aircraft and “switchable metamaterials for active camouflage applications”.
“The Stealth fighters were already in use, but they used very different concepts and heavy ceramic ferrites to achieve stealth. “The absorbents based on metamaterials fulfilled the promise of light, ultra-thin and flexible materials that could be applied literally on any surface to provide the required properties at radar frequencies, infrared frequencies or even optical frequencies,” added the professor. from IIT-Kanpur, Dr Ramakrishna.
The researchers of IIT-Kanpur have been working on this material since 2010. The material has been tested in the laboratory, now they will continue towards the field test.