Thermal Imaging
New Advance

Thermal Imaging



  • Int. Mobile Warfare
  • Deep Battle Tactics



  • Stealth Fighter
  • Stealth Bomber


The understanding of exotic methods of spotting targets gave rise immediately to new techniques for hiding the targets. Camouflage against Thermal Imaging, Radar and other emissions-tracking methods leads directly to the Stealth Fighter and the Stealth Bomber, the most advanced atmospheric air units.


Thermal Imaging is an application of knowledge about the properties of light and energy. In 1800 Sir William Herschel discovered infrared light, by proving that rays beyond the red spectrum are essentially heat radiation. Just before the end of World War Two, the Germans applied this knowledge by building Infrared sights which allowed drivers and gunners on their tanks to see images in near-total darkness, based on the differences between the background temperatures and the temperature of the objects. This technology was adopted and improved after the war, and infrared ’searchlights’ were mounted on Soviet and American tanks in the 1960s to ’light up’ a target with thermal energy. Infrared detecting or ’heat seeking’ missile guidance systems were also used by air-to-air missile systems developed in the 1950s. In the 1970s more sophisticated thermal imaging devices became available, which used ’passive’ thermal energy to detect targets without giving away the location of the observer. Countermeasures soon developed. Aircraft fired hot flares to distract heat seeking guidance mechanisms, and thermally insulated jackets for vehicles and even individuals were developed. Camouflage netting, for instance, was colored using pigments that absorbed wavelengths associated with thermal sensors, hiding the thermal ’signatures’ of vehicles underneath them. The entire scope of materials and technologies used to baffle Imaging systems of all kinds became known as "stealth" technology in the 1980s, by which time such technology was being applied to virtually every type of military equipment, from aircraft to warships to tanks to individual soldiers.