Skip to main content

I'm in the process of updating my Sniper's hide and I'm looking for some input. My latest design is a 5'x9' Multicam in Epsilon (40D). I switched from a single pole down the length to a smaller pole across the top/front. 

My challenge has always been how to allow access in and out without compromising the camouflage. With this design I'm leaning towards a 2-way waterproof zipper down the front dead center. That way it can be used for access, air ventilation, and a murder hole by unzipping the top zipper. 

The pole is currently in 3 sections and measures about 28" overall. I realize it's pushing the limit for packing long gear in smaller packs but works fine in my Elberstock Phantom.

Do you think I should shorten the sections down to 18" or leave them alone?

What are your thoughts for the zippered front? 

https://s7d7.turboimg.net/t1/4...07_134505950_HDR.jpg

Last edited by Community Member
Original Post

Have you thought about thermal threats? The group I train with has seen several monocular type thermal units being fielded and has started experimenting with thermal defeat options for patrol base shelters. Not snipery per say just food for thought. Afaik the most recent prototype is a 3 layer system with thermal defeat on the inside, waterproof layer in the middle and camo net on the outside for the above mentioned reasons.

Trajan Aurelius posted:

Have you thought about putting a camo net on top of the sniper hide?

 

A one dimensional sheet tends to stand out as "something's different ".  A camo net on top of it adds dimension especially when the wind blows.   If all the leaves are blowing around and your sniper hide isn't, that's a clue for your enemies.  

I've used the ATACS-FG or AU bug netting on previous versions but like you point out, it's still not enough depth perception. So I'm considering a jute netting, which would add considerable weight especially when wet, or sewing on "leaves" made from the bug netting similar to Bushrag's Chameloen suit.

dirtpro posted:

Have you thought about thermal threats? The group I train with has seen several monocular type thermal units being fielded and has started experimenting with thermal defeat options for patrol base shelters. Not snipery per say just food for thought. Afaik the most recent prototype is a 3 layer system with thermal defeat on the inside, waterproof layer in the middle and camo net on the outside for the above mentioned reasons.

I few years back I started looking into using mylar blankets but chose to give technology some more time to see where things were headed. For this application or sewn into my woobie, I think mylar might be the way to go. Much like the 3-layer system you describe above, the mylar would be the inner layer, the waterproof Multicam keeping everything dry, and a camo netting over the top. 

dirtpro posted:

Have you thought about thermal threats? The group I train with has seen several monocular type thermal units being fielded and has started experimenting with thermal defeat options for patrol base shelters. Not snipery per say just food for thought. Afaik the most recent prototype is a 3 layer system with thermal defeat on the inside, waterproof layer in the middle and camo net on the outside for the above mentioned reasons.

The cat and mouse game is always advancing.  You'd be amazed at how many thermal devices are in civilian hands.

US Army released a blurb article last quarter 2019 about developing an uncooled handheld sized POLARIZED thermal sensor.  The significance of polarization is that, according to the article, all synthetic materials stick out like a sore thumbs.  Even issue uniforms and equipment with signature minimization coatings stand out.  It had several comparison photos demonstrating the technology.  I kinda doubt it'd work against the more sophisticated thermal stealth systems out there like one of those Israeli Ghostwalker suits or Swedish camo net systems. 

This technology is strictly military right now but you can bet it'll be on the streets in less than 10 years more than likely.

Found it.  There's a youtube video demoing it at the link.

https://www <dot> army.mil/article/230293/researchers_tackle_challenges_of_tomorrow_with_new_infrared_drone_camera

 

Researchers tackle challenges of tomorrow with new infrared drone camera

By U.S. Army CCDC Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs November 29, 2019

The Pyxis camera incorporates both thermal and polarimetric imaging techniques to enhance target detection in natural clutter.
1 / 3SHOW CAPTION +
The Pyxis camera can more reliably capture an image of the target [circled in red) at ambient temperatures during thermal cross-over compared to conventional thermal imagery.
2 / 3SHOW CAPTION +
The polarization sensitivity of the Pyxis camera allows it to better detect oil spills, as shown in red.
3 / 3SHOW CAPTION +

ADELPHI, Md. -- Army researchers enhanced the military's capabilities to detect and identify hidden targets with a new advancement in thermal imaging technology.

Scientists at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory partnered with Polaris Sensor Technologies to develop a specialized infrared camera that incorporates polarization sensitivity, making it easier to find targets camouflaged in natural clutter than with thermal imaging alone.

Based on the properties of thermal electromagnetic radiation emitted light, each object possesses a distinctive polarization signature depending on the object's surface properties and shape. The IR polarimetric camera, called Pyxis, is capable of distinguishing the polarization signature of manmade objects from that of natural backgrounds.

"The Pyxis camera offers significant benefits in target detection and clutter suppression over conventional uncooled infrared cameras without any increase in size, weight or power," said Dr. David Chenault, president of Polaris Sensor Technologies.

Researchers created the IR polarimetric camera by integrating a pixelated polarizing filter into what's known as a microbolometer. This innovation allows the camera to detect polarization contrast in the environment even when thermal contrast isn't present.

A significant amount of effort was focused on refining the assembly of the camera and implementing software upgrades that help users obtain a better understanding of the unique nature of the polarimetric data.

"The physics of polarization is complicated, and our software enables the user to quickly and easily explore how signatures are impacted by materials and geometry in the scene," Chenault said. "The analytical tools in our software makes comparing the performance of image metrics in the polarimetric video easy."

During the past decade, research efforts led by Army physicist Dr. Kristan Gurton have shown that fusing polarimetric information with conventional thermal imagery greatly enhances the technology's ability to detect low observable targets hidden by natural clutter.

In addition, thermal polarimetry has also allowed researchers to conduct human identification and facial recognition in complete darkness, a feat previously thought to have been impossible.

"As we found more and more new applications for thermal polarimetric imaging, it only made sense to work on making the camera systems smaller, more rugged and cost-effective," Gurton said.

Ultimately, the Army contracted Polaris to develop such a system. The resultant IR polarimetric camera has successfully demonstrated its capabilities in handheld, vehicle-mounted and UAS-mounted platforms in multiple field tests.

Army researchers have also expressed their plans to mount this new specialized camera on small rotary wing and fixed wing drones for surveillance purposes to improve situational awareness, force protection and warfighter effectiveness.

"The Pyxis camera is small enough to mount on Class 1 UAS," Chenault said. "We even have a 'drone kit' for quick integration onto many off-the-shelf drones."

As a small business-developed technology, the infrared camera for drones demonstrates a potential variety of different commercial applications.
One such application is the detection of oil spills. The polarization sensitivity is able to very effectively detect oil as thin as 50 micrometers even in the presence of waves and emulsifiers used in spill clean-ups.

Once deployed on a commercial airborne platform, these cameras may soon be used to monitor oil processing and transportation facilities, such as refineries, pipelines and transfer stations, as well as ports, harbors and shipping lanes.

The Pyxis camera also shows promise in detecting snakes for ecological rehabilitation. Initial tests in the Everglades have shown that IR polarization is one of the more effective ways to detect pythons which have become a significant problem as an invasive species in Florida. The drone-mounted Pyxis may be able to assist python hunters with finding snakes in inaccessible locations.

"We're incredibly excited about both of these applications because of the positive impact they could have outside of the military," Chenault said. "It's not every day that you get to go on a snake hunt as part of your job."

For both these applications, researchers are looking into incorporating man-in-the-loop interfaces and autonomous software that will allow the camera system to automatically send alerts with text and images whenever it detects the desired target.

Researchers and their commercial partners are also combining the camera's unique polarization imagery with machine learning algorithms in order to improve its capabilities.

The IR polarimetric camera will only require a few more finishing touches before it is ready for deployment, Chenault said.

"We believe the capability is ready now; it just needs to be integrated in its final form onto the objective platforms," he said. "Direct interaction with the right program offices will start the process to get the technology in the hands of the Soldier."

_________________________________

The CCDC Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. As the Army's corporate research laboratory, ARL discovers, innovates and transitions science and technology to ensure dominant strategic land power. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.

https://newatlas <dot> com/polarized-termal-light-vision/56526/

Polarized thermal light gives soldiers detailed night vision

Researchers demonstrate an example of human identification using conventional and polarimetric thermal cameras
Researchers demonstrate an example of human identification using conventional and polarimetric thermal cameras
US Army Research Laboratory
VIEW 3 IMAGES
 

A new thermal imaging system being developed for the US Army Laboratory by physicist Dr Kristan Gurton and electronics engineer Sean Hu uses polarized infrared light to reveal details like facial features. The technology will allow soldiers to pick out details such as tripwires, booby traps, buried landmines, mortars and UAVs in flight – even in total darkness.

Night vision technology has revolutionized warfare by enhancing the ability of soldiers to carry out their missions beyond daylight hours. Thermal imaging is particularly useful because it works in complete darkness and needs no external illumination.

Where photomultiplier systems rely on reflected infrared light and require an outside source – often a lamp on the night vision scope itself – thermal imaging uses the infrared radiation emitted by any object that has a temperature above absolute zero. This radiation varies in intensity with the temperature of the object, allowing a thermal camera to build up false color images of people, landscapes, and objects in both day and night conditions.

The problem is that thermal imaging is prone to ghosting effects, which blur details and make faces look like blank masks. But when polarized infrared light is added using facial recognition algorithms, the details return with surprising clarity.

Steps in image processing
Steps in image processing
US Army Research Laboratory

 

"Researchers have known for about 30 years that man-made objects emit thermal radiation that is partially polarized, for example, trucks, aircraft, buildings, vehicles, etcetera, and that natural objects like grass, soil, trees and bushes tend to emit thermal radiation that exhibits very little polarization," says Gurton. "We have been developing, with the help of the private sector, a special type of thermal camera that can record imagery that is based solely on the polarization state of the light rather than the intensity. This additional polarimetric information will allow soldiers to see hidden objects that were previously not visible when using conventional thermal cameras."

But, Gurton says, making the concept a reality has been elusive because previous approaches have been overly complicated.

"Early on, researchers attempted to place micro-polarizers on individual micron-size pixels of the infrared Focal-Plane Array (FPA). Both the FPA and micro-pixel polarizers technology in the 80s and 90s were fairly unsophisticated. During my first contract, I stressed a KISS approach ... and I insisted that competing companies avoid the so-called micro-pixel approach and propose very simple concepts in order to produce a calibrated research-grade thermal polarimetric camera system that would actually work. For this new design, we settled on a simple rotating element approach, which is still the gold standard today."

The thermal polarimetric image allows for fine facial details to emerge
The thermal polarimetric image allows for fine facial details to emerge
US Army Research Laboratory

 

However, Gurton contends that if the technology is to be successfully commercialized, the micro-pixel FPA approach will need to be readapted and perfected. In addition, the camera and other systems will need better miniaturization.

"Our primary goal was to develop a new type of camera system that could detect objects that were difficult, or impossible, to see using current state-of-the-art thermal cameras," says Gurton. "We are working with the private sector on a two-prong approach in which both research grade and ruggedized commercial grade polarimetric cameras are being developed. It's our hope that in the future, all deployed Department of Defense thermal imaging systems will have a polarimetric ability that can be implemented with a simple press of a button."

The video below shows how the polarized layers are combined with the unpolarized ones to form a final image.

Source: US Army Research Laboratory

Combined Stacks

That's a very good read Romeo7! Incredible tech and I'm glad it's in our hands for now. 

Right now my goal is to defeat any street level tech that may be in the hands of criminals. I'm working with local SRT/SWAT for a fast deploy OP that's light, quick to setup, and versatile. The ghillie netting can be used as a tripod blind or a hanging blind, as needed. 

I took some pictures with the old ATACS-AU bug netting but I'm not satisfied with the color. It's too light. I'm looking for darker shades of brown and grey as the base camo with some of the light accents. My thoughts are, you can always add greenery when needed and shades of brown and grey are found everywhere. 

There's are a few more advantages that I like about using the bug mesh. It's extremely light weight, doesn't absorb water, and is much easier to see through than jute. Once I have the colors I want I'll do some thermal testing to see if I need to add a Mylar layer or not. 

Last edited by Community Member

Have you thought about trying to get a piece of SAAB Barracuda ULCANS netting from DRMO, assuming you're LE?  It covers all the spectrum from NIR, IR, UV, and even broadband radar.  ADSINC sells it new to qualified entities.  I shudder to think what the new unit cost might be though. 

Otherwise you need to check it for IR shine/contrast and UV glow in the dark.  If it does either then you have to try to figure out how to mitigate each.  Not impossible but it is a tedious pain the butt to achieve and maintain.

Not shelter connected, but you also might want to look into improvised lens (camera, weapon scope) detection systems as an advanced threat.  The government has had purpose built systems for decades.  There's more than a few article talking about how to put together medium and long range outdoor systems from COTS materials.  Indoor short range systems are available on AMAZON for finding pinhole cameras for very little money.

Longeye posted:

Won't the mylar layer appear as a differential square in the thermals? 
If you threat is sophisticated enough to run thermals, they are likely sophisticated enough to put rounds on obvious anomalies. And probably do it from a recessed, defiladed, or armored location.

I would assume that depends on the temperature differential between the OP and the surrounding area. I would hope that the tarp, ghillie, and mylar layers would acclimate to ambient temperature. But if that's the case, then it's useless for this application. There's no way I want these guys taking rounds because of something I overlooked. 

Romeo7 posted:

Have you thought about trying to get a piece of SAAB Barracuda ULCANS netting from DRMO, assuming you're LE?  It covers all the spectrum from NIR, IR, UV, and even broadband radar.  ADSINC sells it new to qualified entities.  I shudder to think what the new unit cost might be though. 

Otherwise you need to check it for IR shine/contrast and UV glow in the dark.  If it does either then you have to try to figure out how to mitigate each.  Not impossible but it is a tedious pain the butt to achieve and maintain.

Not shelter connected, but you also might want to look into improvised lens (camera, weapon scope) detection systems as an advanced threat.  The government has had purpose built systems for decades.  There's more than a few article talking about how to put together medium and long range outdoor systems from COTS materials.  Indoor short range systems are available on AMAZON for finding pinhole cameras for very little money.

I have no LEO credentials but my customer does. So I'll kick this over to them and see if they can run this material down.

The current materials I'm using are all IR compliant and do not glow under UV. If they do glow under UV then I use Atsko brand UV Killer spray to kill the UV reflection. 

The camera detection systems are interesting for sure but I bit outside my scope. I'll certainly mention it to them but they may already have something for threat detection.

Last edited by Community Member

Most of this topic is over my head but I’ve used woodland and desert camo netting too good effect in my area over a tarp. Pathfinder Survival sells a durable Mylar tarp that is waterproof if you wanted to integrate that into an all in one with no sewing. Can’t recall if it uses grommets or tie outs. Here is an IG post of mine messing around with a cheap training tarp I use to practice shelter building and a slab of camo netting I had on hand. Obviously you’d want to cut to fit and use possibly a little excess to over cover the edges, but I think it has good merit. 

https://www.instagram DOT com/p/B4ddM6QgEBs/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Thanks for the input guys! Always a pleasure to bounce ideas back and forth.

But I've since changed the design after some practical testing and more input from my R&D team. My thoughts now are going to a 2-pole system with zippers in front and back. That way no matter how it's setup the design remains the same. So there will be a pole at each end right after the zipper. This also allows the team to enter and exit to the rear without exposing their cover and since the system will be a mirror image regardless of which way it's pointed, setup in the dark would be the same either way.

I also deleted the slotted or portal observation slots as they were too restrictive on line of sight, did not allow enough flexibility for position, and reduced the air flow. Considering a 2-man team will be camped out for hours on end, it's crucial to maintain fresh air. With zippers at both ends that leaves excellent cross flow ventilation, a wide range of sight picture, and still maintains cover and concealment for the team.

ComradeBoris - I'll take a look at that. I still haven't decided on the mylar yet. More testing will make that determination.

DevilDogSoldier - Agreed! I count on the local foliage to complete the concealment but even if they have nothing else I want it to look like a pile of leaves with the thickest coverage at the front/ends. The great thing about the material I'm using for the faux leaves is that you can see right through it with or without a scope. 

Here's one of the newer pictures...
[url]https://www.turboimagehost.com...0_161418928.jpg.html[/url]

 

 [URL=https://www.turboimagehost.com/p/52449563/IMG_20200310_161418928.jpg.html][IMG]https://s7d2.turboimg.net/t1/52449563_IMG_20200310_161418928.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

Last edited by Community Member

Add Reply

Post
Copyright Lightfighter Tactical Forum 2002-2020
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×