I See You But You Don’t See Me


As part of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Coded Visibility (CV) programme, which is looking to develop tailorable, tunable, safe obscurants that will provide an asymmetric advantage to warfighters, it has selected multiple teams of researchers to move the programme forward.

“The teams we selected aim to develop new types of non-hazardous obscurant particulates that can be tailored to provide asymmetry – that is to allow US and allied forces to see the enemy through the plume in one direction, while the adversary is unable to see through the plume in the opposite direction,” said Rohith Chandrasekar, CV program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office.

“A passive asymmetry approach will likely require multiple obscurant materials deployed in specific ways to allow one-way vision through the plume,” said Chandrasekar.

“We are also exploring a more fundamental challenge of demonstrating active asymmetry, which only requires a single obscurant material, but one that can be tuned in real time to potentially enable dynamic control of its properties after being deployed and in cooperation with sensors.”

The Raytheon Technologies Research Centre has been selected to develop new obscurants composed of multiple particulates with tailored properties and demonstrate asymmetric vision capabilities in lab, pilot, and field tests.

Northeastern University, Signature Research, and Georgia Tech Research Institute were chosen to investigate new tunable particulates and associated active modulation mechanisms to demonstrate asymmetry on-demand in lab and pilot tests.

The full teams are as follows:

Passive asymmetry – Raytheon Technologies Research Center, teamed with Rice University and Palo Alto Research Center (PARC).

Active asymmetry – Northeastern University, teamed with City University of New York, University of Pennsylvania, and Polaris Sensor Technologies Signature Research, teamed with Duke University Georgia Tech Research Institute, teamed with Georgia Tech.

by Andrew Drwiega