July 24, 2003 | Source: Business Week
New materials and technologies could boost the mobility and safety of U.S. troops.
Scientists at DuPont are developing ways to manipulate light so soldiers could appear to disappear. EIC Laboratories is working on “electrochromic camouflage” — a chameleon fabric that would change colors instantly to blend in with its surroundings.
The new Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at MIT is creating new materials and devices molecule by molecule with such ingredients as carbon nanotubes.
For example, “smart” body armor would weave thin pads or even cloth from fibers that can sense the impact of a bullet or shrapnel and automatically stiffen, becoming even more impenetrable than the cumbersome ceramic-plate armor troops wear now.