Cuttlefish: Individual Thermal Protection System
Project Cuttlefish is an anti-thermal wearable system for military personnel to protect against infrared detection.
Infrared or thermal detection is one of the most effective ways of identifying military personnel and mechanical targets in the battlefield. Detection of personnel by opposing forces leaves them vulnerable. Anti-detection gear provides personnel with the means to conceal themselves in a range of contexts.
Anti-thermal detection equipment for military personnel is currently out-matched by detection technologies. Research and development have led to numerous materials and equipment for guarding against thermal radiation in civil applications and health scenarios, such as body scans for diseased regions, but there has been little in the way of design development leading to improved anti-detection gear for military personnel.
This project evolved from initial explorations in tent design for protection against ultraviolet radiation. This led to a better understanding of radiation and the many different contexts in which protection from it is meaningful. Interest in infrared detection follows on the discovery of thermal body-maps, in which different parts of the body ‘heat-up’ in response to physical and emotional states such as fear and pride. This led into potential applications for airborne and special-force military personnel who are particularly susceptible to infrared/thermal detection during operations behind enemy lines and where stealth is the key to success.