We are witnessing the rebirth of avionics. According to a new paper published by the Iowa State University, a team of scientists managed to devise a shielding material that could potentially scatter all incoming radio waves.
The new radio-wave scattering material also known as the meta-skin is a new concept that could change the idea of covert warfare. According to the team in charge of this project, the planes that will be equipped with this new material will pass out as phantoms under the radar.
This new prototype was created by a team of researcher from the Iowa State University. The so-called meta-skin cloaking layer is composed of thousands of split ring resonators which are arranged in rows and kept in place by a thin layer of silicone.
Moreover, according to the project’s specification, this ring-like formation almost act up like electric inductors, using the space between the rings as capacitors.
In the middle of this rings there is a bubble-like formation which contains a liquid alloy called galinstan.
Now, the inductors and the capacitors work together in order to absorb multi-spectrum radio waves.
Furthermore, according to the team in charge of the project, the new material is superior to the current technology employed by the B-2 stealth planes. The wave-absorbing material covers only a small area of the aircraft. Thus, it can only supply a limited protection against detection.
The new meta-skin layer can actually be stretched in order to cover a larger portion of the plan, thus decreasing its chances of being picked off by an enemy radar.
To see just how efficient the new meta-skin is, the scientists performed a couple of controlled experiments. In these trials, the scientists bombarded a section covered in meta-skin with radio waves ranging from 8 to 10 Gigahertz.
When the results came in, the team was just astonished. In 75 percent of cases the new material, which can be fine-tuned at any point, could absorb incoming radio waves.
Liang Dong, the lead researcher on this project, who also teaches electrical and computer sciences at the Iowa State University declared that the material has tremendous potential.
The new shielding technique might benefit a lot more domains than the military. Dong also added that the meta-skin project is the starting point of cloaking technologies.
In time and with much research, the scientist declared that he and his team can go beyond perfecting the radio wave deflecting cloaking and experiment with something more exquisite like optical cloaks.