10/09/2020

Australian University Adds Chameleon-like Capabilities to Drones

Australian University Adds Chameleon-like Capabilities to Drones link

Source: UAS Vision

Article Headlines
  • In conjunction with the Department of Defence, University of South Australia material scientists have developed a range of lightweight panels that can change colour on demand, allowing drones to match their appearance to the background colours of the sky
  • Given the huge importance of remaining undetected during ISR operations, the static colour of drones can be a significant problem, but now, thanks to researchers at The University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute (FII), the solution is at hand
  • In a collaboration with the Department of Defence, FII researchers, led by Dr Kamil Zuber, have developed a range of lightweight polymer panels that can change colour on demand
  • The polymers are what are known as electrochromic materials, meaning they change colour in response to an electric field, and the exact colours can be tuned to specific voltages. Similar technology has been used in luxury cars, for diming mirrors, and on the windows of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  • The panels operate in the range from -1.5 to +1.5 volts, which means you only need to use an AA battery to activate the change
  • In addition to their chameleon-like characteristics, the panels are inexpensive, lightweight and durable, and can be either rigid or flexible, making them ideal for use on drones of all sizes and specifications
  • The technology is currently being refined to integrate self-awareness and autonomous adjustment into the system, so drones will be able to automatically change colour in response to changes in the surrounding environment
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