THIS IS AWESOME…Marine Corps tests new camo

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The U.S. Marine Corps is working to better cloak its troops in a world where enemies increasingly have devices for detecting thermal signatures.

There was a time when U.S. forces owned the night, conducting shadowy raids against enemies who never saw them coming. But as night vision technology becomes more readily available, that advantage has faded into history.

One of the greatest battlefield threats now is the proliferation of cheap night vision, thermal cameras and a plethora of other sensors. Those tools can give even underfunded third-world insurgents capabilities once reserved for military superpowers, according to defense industry experts.

The Marine Corps and Army have taken note and, along with U.S. Special Operations Command, are working with manufacturers to counter the growing threat by incorporating new cloaking technology into camouflage.

“There are requirements to conceal uniforms across the electromagnetic spectrum,” said Maj. Anton Semelroth the Combat Development and Integration spokesman at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.

Traditional camouflage is designed only to break up the shape of troops, helping them match the splotchy color of the natural environment in which they operate. But it’s only effective when observed by the naked eye, which sees only a narrow piece of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Some sensors are able to detect wavelengths on other parts of the spectrum that the human eye cannot, revealing that some seemingly invisible items actually stand out in a natural environment with the help of cheap, widely available equipment.

No longer invisible

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The Marine Corps Combat Utility Uniform was the first digital camouflage pattern adopted by the Defense Department. Featured in desert and woodland colors, its pattern is thought to be among the best available in concealing troops from the naked eye.

But the uniforms — along with those worn by other services — have a weakness. They strongly contrast natural environments when observed with one of several sensors designed to detect other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, like the ultra violet or infrared ranges which are above and below the visible spectrum, respectively.

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