Thursday, January 20, 2011

Enhanced Submarine Invisibilty?

Perhaps a game changer in the world of submarine warfare? Reported here:
Led by mechanical science and engineering professor Nicholas Fang, Illinois researchers have demonstrated an acoustic cloak, a technology that renders underwater objects invisible to sonar and other ultrasound waves.

“We are not talking about science fiction. We are talking about controlling sound waves by bending and twisting them in a designer space,” said Fang, who also is affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

While materials that can wrap sound around an object rather than reflecting or absorbing it have been theoretically possible for a few years, realisation of the concept has been a challenge. In a paper accepted for publication in the journal Physical Review Letters, Fang’s team describe their working prototype, capable of hiding an object from a broad range of sound waves.
Probably not the best news for your friendly neighborhood sonar tech. They had a hard job anyway.

Super stealth stuff.


  1. Such a submarine wouldn't be able to dive very deep. From a quick glance, it looks like the metametals with internal "baffling" would have a really hard time contracting and expanding with the submarine's hull as it changes depth. I don't see it really being practical.

  2. Good point, though I would argue that if you are "invisible" depth may not be the factor that it has been for sub security.

    I would think the mine guys will certainly be interested . . .