Camouflage Systems, Coalition Forces, Effectiveness, Environmental Factors, Interoperability, Mobile Camouflage, Multispectral, Operational Scenarios, Performance Evaluation, Performance Requirements, Scenario, Signature management, Test and Evaluation Procedures
In the evaluation and design of camouflage systems the military operational context currently plays a small role, whereas it is crucial to assess the performance of these systems in military practice. For instance, most evaluations are performed in a controlled and static setting while dynamic environmental aspects are largely ignored. In some circumstances the added value of camouflage will be marginal (e.g. in dense forest) while in other situations camouflage can make an important contribution to survivability. It would be prudent to opt for camouflage that is adapted to enhancing survivability. Such aspects should be part of the evaluation procedure and incorporated into models that seek to predict performance in a military context. Also, it is not clear how improved performance measured during evaluation translate to the added benefit when used in military operations.
A first step towards good understanding of camouflage effectiveness in operational scenarios has been made by SCI-212 that identified the military requirements for camouflage systems. Their study showed that the evaluation of camouflaged targets in a tactical operational setting proves to be difficult. The task group SCI-287 intend to investigate new assessment methods that take military strategies and context into account.
A crucial aspect is the use of realistic operational scenarios, so a set of critical scenarios and contexts will be established in interaction with military experts, on which the evaluation will be based (such as ambush, patrol and hasty defence).
The main objective of the TG SCI-287 is to investigate and verify recommended techniques for incorporating the operational context in camouflage assessment and requirement analysis. Interfaces between different existing software packages will be incorporated into a framework for assessing camouflage utility at different levels. This study should lead to evaluation methods that are able of capturing the operational context including time dependent factors and aspects such as variation in weather conditions, seasonal variations, movement, tactical use of equipment, adaptive camouflage, operating theatre, spectrally designed materials and lighting conditions. The focus will lie on personal camouflage and camouflage systems for vehicles in visual, near infrared and thermal infrared spectral regions. Radar signatures might also be taken into consideration.
Here we will focus on the application of these new methods (e.g. wargaming, physics based models, photo-realistic simulation, and models of operational effectiveness, morphological analysis) to the assessment of existing camouflage techniques also in time depending conditions. We expect these techniques to be highly useful for the investigation and development of future camouflage concepts (e.g. adaptive camouflage, see SCI-230). Results and methods from SCI-230, SCI-212 and SCI-219 will be utilized in SCI-287.