An Israeli tech company said it has developed a camouflage technology that makes soldiers on the battlefield virtually undetectable.
Polaris Solutions, which specializes in "innovative and effective technology for survivability solutions", said the new "camouflage sheet" has already been tested by the IDF and was added to its procurement plan.
The recently unveiled Kit 300 was developed in cooperation with the Defense Ministry and appears to be made out of a material that provides multispectral concealment.
According to Polaris Solutions, no similar technology exists on the market today.
“As far as we know, or as far as we saw in other armies around the world, we are very unique,” Asaf Picciotto, co-founder and CEO of Polaris Solutions, said. “To establish that, we actually registered a patent on it in many countries around the world.”
The lightweight sheet is made out of a special thermal visual concealment (TVC) material, comprised of metals, polymers and microfibers. The material allows soldiers much more difficult to distinguish from nature, both with the naked eye and with thermal imaging equipment. Thus, it can be used for countersurveillance in a wide variety of military scenarios.
The idea to develop the technology was born in 2006 during the Second Lebanon War. At the time, Picciotto was in a special IDF unit and saw firsthand that soldiers on the ground required better protection from their enemies’ thermal cameras and night-vision equipment.
“You have to be better than the enemy and we understood that there were big gaps in the survivability part,” Picciotto recalled.
Polaris Solutions was founded in 2010 and is now headquartered in the Israeli port city of Caesarea. Several former IDF soldiers with special forces training have lent their expertise to the company, which also produces a range of tough and durable tactical textiles and patented military products.
Kit 300 was specifically developed to counter new and ever-evolving challenges on the battlefield. “Camouflage nets haven’t changed too much in the past 50 year,” Yonatan Pinkas, director of marketing at Polaris Solutions, said.
“We wanted to bring in a new type of material. So TVC was born.”
Each sheet comes with different coloration on each side: one for dense vegetation and the other for more desert-like landscapes. In addition, the company customizes patterns and coloring based on client needs and geographic region.
The sturdy material can be molded into three-dimensional shapes or folded into a compact roll. It also is waterproof, can provide shelter or be fashioned into a stretcher to carry wounded soldiers on the battlefield.
“It has additional value in medical use,” Pinkas said, adding that it can carry weight up to 250 kilograms, can be used as a splint to immobilize a broken bone and can serve as a hypothermia blanket.
Polaris Solutions is also working with government agencies abroad, including special forces units in both Canada and the United States, where they are marketing the Kit 300 as "Jag Hide".
“Our products are being tested by some units, which I cannot name, and we have several mutual operations there,” Picciotto said.
Though the company’s TVC products are unique, other tech innovators have recently made groundbreaking forays in the stealth materials arena.
Last year, Canadian company HyperStealth Biotechnology Corporation revealed a light-bending material called Quantum Stealth that appears to make a person vanish. The company refers to the invention as a “broadband invisibility cloak,” though its efficacy largely depends on the angle and distance from which it is viewed.
A number of technical hurdles remain before a true invisibility cloak is developed.
While invisibility was once the realm of science fiction or fantasy, Polaris Solutions has revealed that it is in the process of developing products that could soon turn the idea into a reality. But it’s going to take between five years and 10 years to develop “real deep tech” that can be turned into a line of products, according to Picciotto.
Article was written by Maya Margit and reprinted with permission from The Media Line