24 October 2016 Visual signature reduction of unmanned aerial vehicles
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Abstract
With the emergence of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in multiple tactical defence missions, there was a need for an efficient visual signature suppression system for a more efficient stealth operation. One of our studies experimentally investigated the visual signature reduction of UAVs achieved through an active camouflage system. A prototype was constructed with newly developed operating software, Cloak, to provide active camouflage to the UAV model. The reduction of visual signature was analysed. Tests of the devices mounted on UAVs were conducted in another study. A series of experiments involved testing of the concept as well as the prototype. The experiments were conducted both in the laboratory and under normal environmental conditions. Results showed certain degrees of blending with the sky to create a camouflage effect. A mini-UAV made mostly out of transparent plastic was also designed and fabricated. Because of the transparency of the plastic material, the visibility of this UAV in the air is very small, and therefore the UAV is difficult to be detected. After re-designs and tests, eventually a practical system to reduce the visibility of UAVs viewed by human observers from the ground was developed. The system was evaluated during various outdoor tests. The scene target-to-background lightness contrast and the scene target-to-background colour contrast of the adaptive control system prototype were smaller than 10% at a stand-off viewing distance of 20-50 m.
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Z. W. Zhong, Z. X. Ma, Jayawijayaningtiyas, J. H. H. Ngoh, "Visual signature reduction of unmanned aerial vehicles", Proc. SPIE 9997, Target and Background Signatures II, 999707 (24 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2241967; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241967
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