Czech researchers develop uniform with changeable camouflage |

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Czech researchers develop uniform with changeable camouflage

Czech researchers develop uniform with changeable camouflage

Researchers from the Technical University of Liberec have developed a uniform with changeable camouflage to mask soldiers both in a forest and in a desert for the Czech military, university spokeswoman Barbora Jonova told CTK today.

The uniform, developed at the department of materials engineering, has greenish colours in a forest, while the shades fade out in a drier and warmer environment thanks to thermochromic pigments in the material. The scientists will pass the special uniform prototype to the Military Research Institute for testing soon, Jonova said.

The Czech military uses two basic variants of camouflage - the traditional "forest" one with brownish and greenish shades and a lighter "desert" alternative to be worn in a dry environment, for instance, during missions in Afghanistan.

"However, in view of the current drought, the lighter variant of camouflage is more and more suitable even in the territory of the Czech Republic, for example, on a dry meadow," development section head Martina Vikova said.

The Liberec University has cooperated with the military in the field of camouflage for many years. It also serves as a laboratory to measure the camouflage colours. Experts from the university were also in the military working group that had designed the defence camouflage system.

The university researchers have decided to use their deep knowledge of the chameleon-like clothing, changing colours according to UV radiation, temperature and possibly other factors to develop a changeable camouflage for the military, Vikova said.

The research team of the Liberec University has worked on the development of this new material for two years.

The thermochromic pigments used in the textile are set to make the greenish shades turn pale at the temperature from 37 to 40 degrees Celsius. This change can occur repeatedly and in the long run.

One of the challenges for the team was to stabilise the used pigments to resist sunshine for long. Besides, the used textile was fitted with a water repellent coating that can stand the test in difficult field conditions.

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