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Shape-Change Camouflage

Traditionally, military camouflage is designed around fixed disruptive colouration patterns for a specific environment and geometry, and as a result, is only effective in a particular location where the background does not change and the object is stationary.[1c] However, recent developments in military research have focused upon the design and implementation of new methods to conceal military hardware from both visual and thermal automatic target recognition. As a source of inspiration, cephalopods (octopus and cuttlefish) are of particular interest due to their ability to change both their colouration camouflage pattern, via chromatophores,[3] and also their geometrical shape, through the use of skin papillae.

Shape-Change Camouflage

Origami and kirigami design principles, whereby folded lines (with or without bonding or cutting) create localised regions of out-of-plane deformation, offer considerable potential for deployable geometries employing fibrous materials.

We used a silicone elastomer and paper reinforcement to fabricate soft active camouflage cells.

Supported by DSTL