When people think of the United States Army and camouflage, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the traditional urban green and brown look. Now the army is looking to add “super-black” to their repertoire.
Specifically, the Army is hoping to develop “super-black” materials that would be so dark it could absorb 99 percent of all light.
According to Wired, the program is being run out of the Army’s Program Executive Office Ammunition. This office is responsible for developing and testing experimental weapons including cannons and directed-energy weapons.
The Army is soliciting new developers to help with what they hope will be an “antireflective coating or surface treatment process for metals” to absorb stray light “in the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared regions.”
The release for the solicitation can be accessed online here.
Unfortunately, it can only be speculated what the Army is planning to do with this new super dark material once developed.
Normal black material absorbs up to 95 percent of all light. One theory put forth by Wired is that more absorption could lead to greater resolution for security cameras. This is because less light from the image would be reflected back into the camera lens.
There is no hint at how this new material could be used to improve camouflage. In other words, urban camouflage is probably not in danger of going extinct.
What seems more likely is this new “super-black” material is not for stealth but for increased security and possibly even spying.
What do you think: Is the Army being up front enough about what they want with this new material?