Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego have just claimed they have effectively tested their so-called "dielectric metasurface cloak," a material that touts to manipulate visible light as well as radio waves in order to create a cloak.
The device, which is made up of Teflon substrate embedded with tiny and cylindrical ceramic cylinders, has actually caught the attention of the military. This new material is said to make a particular object on a flat surface vanish.
"Invisibility may seem like magic at first, but its underlying concepts are familiar to everyone. All it requires is a clever manipulation of our perception," stated Boubacar Kanté, the senior author of the paper entitled Extremely Thin Dielectric Metasurface For Carpet Cloaking and a professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. "Full invisibility still seems beyond reach today, but it might become a reality in the near future thanks to recent progress in cloaking devices."
The experts said they have already solved main problems that make current cloaks still obvious to the eye of a human.
These corrected issues, which Kanté and his team also discussed in their paper, include the following: cloaking devices being bulky and thick, which make them impractical, and cloak devices scattering light waves at lower intensities, which make these devices still a bit visible to the eyes.
Kanté reportedly told the press that he has been in communication with a Defense Department project manager and that he is excited about this work. He also confirmed that he is expected to submit a proposal to the Defense Department this month.
Armed With Science, the official U.S. Defense Department Science blog, featured in its post the research of the experts. It mentions that the cloaking device could be utilized to cover larger objects, which include unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). It says it has the capacity to disappear from view, leaving no electronic, infrared or visual signature.
Kayla Matola, research analyst for Homeland Defense and Security Information Analysis Center, told the press that the experts' design is cheaper as well as lighter than any other cloak devices. This, according to Matola, is what the military is looking for.