Mar 27, 2020

How Metamaterials Could Lead to Invisible Tanks and Super-Stealthy Submarines

Posted by in categories: energy, military

Circa 2019

The development of new so-called metamaterials could lead to dramatic advances in military technology, particularly the ability to hide from sensors—even the human eye. Metamaterials, engineered composites designed to manipulate the electromagnetic spectrum, could lead to “invisible” tanks and armored vehicles, submarines undetectable by sonar, and weapons with improved seekers and guidance systems.

The big caveat though is that metamaterials are currently pretty difficult to manufacture and are still years away from full-scale production.

A new article in the October issue of the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings outlines potential military applications for metamaterials. Metamaterials of plastic and metal and engineered in lattice-like patterns up to a billionths of a meter in scale. The result is a surface or material that can manipulate an object’s magnetic or electrical field in ways traditional building materials cannot. This allows them to alter how energy waves across the electromagnetic spectrum (visual light, radar, radio, acoustic waves, etc.) interact with them with some pretty stunning implications.

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