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DARPA Selects Researchers to Develop ‘One-Way Vision’ Smokescreens

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has partnered with multiple research teams to work on the Coded Visibility (CV) program, an initiative to develop smokescreens that block enemy detection systems and vision but enhance that of friendly forces.

These obscurants can be “tailored 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,” DARPA CV Program Manager Rohith Chandrasekar explained in October.

This process is called “passive asymmetry,” which Chandrasekar compared to a one-way mirror.

“We’ll also explore active asymmetry using novel materials that can be tuned in real time to potentially enable dynamic adaptation of the obscurant’s properties during a mission,” he added.

DARPA Partners for Coded Visibility

Under the CV program, researchers are expected to develop much safer smokescreens compared to current hazardous variants that require respirators on the battlefield.

DARPA has selected Raytheon Technologies Research Center for CV’s passive asymmetry obscurants for laboratory tests, pilot tests, and fielding.

Northeastern University, Signature Research, and the Georgia Tech Research Institute will investigate active asymmetry tunable particulates and related active modulation technologies for on-demand asymmetry in lab and pilot tests.

The teams will also collaborate to build new modeling and simulation systems to engineer plumes and assess the obscurants against sensors.

A separate governmental team will experimentally assess the particulate safety.

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