RTO-TM-SCI-096 - Multispectral Camouflage for the Soldier System

Activity Reference SCI-096
Originator's Reference AC/323(SCI-096)TP/79
ISBN Reference N/A
Security Classification OTHER
Originator NATO Science and Technology Organization
Where to find this report List of National Distribution Centres
Presented at / Sponsored by Final Report of Task Group SCI-096.
Published October 2004
Pages xiv + 96 (excludes supporting material where applicable)
Distribution Statement: This document is distributed in accordance with NATO Security Regulations and STO policies.
Keywords / Descriptors Background discrimination ; Camouflage ; Concealment ; Coverings ; Data acquisition ; Field tests ; Image processing ; Infrared countermeasures ; Infrared suppression ; International cooperation ; Light (visible radiation) ; Millimeter waves ; Multispectral ; Optical countermeasures ; Optical measuring instruments ; Performance evaluation ; Signature reduction ; Target acquisition ; Textiles ; Thermal imaging ; Ultraviolet radiation ; Visual signature suppression
Abstract In 1999, the former RTO/SCI-005 proposed to undertake a study on “Multispectral Camouflage for the Soldier System”. The SCI Panel and the RTB approved the proposal in 2000 as the Task Group SCI-096. This report describes the work completed by the Task Group during the 2000 – 2003 timeframe.

The project commenced with a joint definition phase and a baseline field trial to establish parameters, conducted at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Canada, in September 2001. It was confirmed that in many instances the soldier is very conspicuous, especially in the thermal infrared spectral regions. Joint analysis of the baseline data lead to a concept development phase. The proposed solutions and novel concepts were trialed in September 2002 at the Netherlands Marnewaard training area. Performance of the test suits with respect to signature reduction was evaluated from the field data.

Soldiers on the battlefield are especially vulnerable and exhibit a characteristic signature. The report discusses the relevance of various threat sensors against the individual soldier in general terms and with respect to areas of operation such as arctic, temperate, arid, jungle and urban areas.

Extensive studies in many NATO countries have shown that the multispectral signatures of most military equipment can be significantly reduced by combinations of various camouflage materials. This has not yet been satisfactorily achieved for the key element on the battlefield, the individual soldier. This is in large part due to the numerous and complex constraints (weight, mobility, physiology) under which the soldier must conduct operations. There is a need to further improve thermal camouflage of the soldier system. It is recommended to pursue further development of thermal suits on either a national or multinational basis.

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