China’s researchers have published a paper called “An ultra-thin broadband active frequency selective surface absorber for ultrahigh-frequency applications” in the Journal of Applied Physics. This new stealth wrap skin is designed to keep military aircraft off radar in ways previous stealth-technology cannot.
The article details a material just 5/16″ thick that can safeguard stealth planes against UHF detection. The material tunes itself to a range of detection frequencies, protecting against a large swath of radar scans similar to how color-changing wraps work in the automotive industry.
Current stealth technology utilizes unique body shapes to deflect radar waves or special materials to absorb them, however this technology does not protect against ultrahigh-frequency radar detection. Here’s an excerpt from Ars Technica’s article:
Current stealth technology is effective against radars in the Super High Frequency (SHF) range—the S, C, X, and Ku bands used by the US’ Aegis AN/SPY-1 radar and most military fire-control radars used to steer missiles at targets. But they aren’t very effective against longer wavelength radars operating in the UHF range, at least when it comes to avoiding detection entirely. And fire control radars are being developed that will operate at those lower frequencies, meaning stealth aircraft may soon lose the ability to hide from targeting systems.
Although this development is not the typical automotive vinyl wrapping film, to see this ultra-thin stealth wrap already available only begs the question: what’s next? cloaking? bullet proofing? electric illumination? We only hear about what’s been declassified… it’s exciting to see what’s to come.