Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Predator drones could soon hide under dielectric 'invisibility cloaks'

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/21/predator-drones-invisibility-cloak/

America's fleet of Predator UAVs could soon become even harder to shoot down (or even detect for that matter) thanks to a new kind of camouflage developed at UC San Diego. UCSD professor Boubacar Kante and his team published their findings last month in the journal Progress In Electromagnetics Research and will submit a separate report to the Department of Defense later this month, according to reports from the Army Times. The material, dubbed the "dielectric metasurface cloak," builds on earlier work from Duke University in 2006. It's essentially a thin layer of Teflon studded with ceramic particles and capable of modulating wavelengths of energy along the electromagnetic scale (including both visible light and radar).

The technology isn't exactly new but it is a heck of a lot better than what the DoD has access to now. "Previous cloaking studies needed many layers of materials to hide an object, the cloak ended up being much thicker than the size of the object being covered," Li-Yi Hsu, the study's lead author said in a statement. "In this study, we show that we can use a thin single-layer sheet for cloaking."

The current generation of Teflon camouflage has to be literally slathered onto drones. For example, to block out a missile's guidance radar using a 3 cm wavelength, the Teflon coating would need to be ten times as thick as the wavelength, or 30 cm. A dielectric metasurface cloak, on the other hand, would provide the same degree of protection but only require a 3mm-thick coat, one tenth the thickness of the incoming signal.

The new material isn't perfect just yet. Since its thickness determines which wavelength it can block, the material can currently only cancel a single wavelength at a time. And even with the appropriate wavelength, the system only works if the incoming signal hits it at a 45 degree angle (within 6 degrees or so). Despite these shortcomings however, the DoD is reportedly very keen on implementing the camouflage system. Barring any setbacks the camo could enter active service within five to ten years, Kayla Matola, a research analyst for Homeland Defense & Security Information Analysis Center, told the Army Times.

[Image Credit: top art - DoD, inline - UCSD]

Via: Washington Post

Source: Army Times, UCSD


Omate has a smartwatch that runs Lollipop and makes phone calls

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/09/22/omate-truesmart-plus-smartwatch/

Let's face it: deep down we probably all have wanted a smartwatch made by wearables company Omate that runs Android 5.1. Okay, that's an overstatement. But there are at least a few folks out there that fit this bill and they'll likely be pretty pleased about the news that the new call-capable TrueSmart+ is Lollipop flavored. The company took to Facebook to announce that both the TS+ and its slightly cheaper sibling will hit sometime either late October or in November for $169 and $149, respectively. Oddly enough, the pricier model doesn't have a built-in camera like its predecessor but Omate says it has a TSi model with one.

What the TS+ does pack, however, are fancy rubber straps that do double duty concealing WiFi, 2G and 3G antennas. Oh, and that 1.54-inch screen's been upgraded to 320x320 resolution , while the Android 4.4-powered TSi rocks a 240x240 display of the same size. Preorders open September 22nd and that window closes on Halloween.

We are excited to announce two newborns in the Omate family: the TrueSmart-i and the TrueSmart+ are going to leave the...

Posted by Omate on Monday, September 21, 2015

Source: Omate (Facebook)