on April 5th, 2016

Engineers at Iowa State University have been hard at work at creating something that might pique the military’s interest. It is a translucent material that would make whatever it covers invisible to radar. In a recent report published in Scientific Reports, the engineers said: “It is believed that the present meta-skin technology will find many applications in electromagnetic frequency tuning, shielding and scattering suppression.”

According to TheEngineer.com

The cloaking device is formed of rows of split ring resonators filled with galinstan, a metal alloy that’s liquid at room tempreature but less toxic than mercury. These rings, which have a radius of 2.5mm and a thickness of 0.5mm, are embedded inside layers of silicone sheets. Together they create a resonator that can trap and suppress radar waves at a certain frequency. 

In the paper, the team writes about doing tests with a frequency range of 8 to 10 gigahertz. They report that the fabric they invented suppressed the radar waves up to 75%. This number can only improve, which means soon in the future the fabric would be able to resonate with radar waves and appear invisible to them. 

The group concluded their tests by saying:

Therefore, the meta-skin technology is different from traditional stealth technologies that often only reduce the backscattering, i.e., the power reflected back to a probing radar.

The engineers are confident that one day they will be able to cloak aircraft with the invention. 

Liang Dong, an associate professor working on the project, said, “The long-term goal is to shrink the size of these devices. Then hopefully, we can do this higher-frequency electromagnetic waves such as visible or infrared light. While that would require advanced nanomanufacturing technologies and appropriate structural modifications, we think this study proves the concept of frequency tuning and broadening and multidirectional wave suppression with skin-type metamaterials.” 


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