Extraordinarily Thin Thermal Barrier Gives Automatic Weapons Nearly Impenetrable Cloak to Hide Hot Barrels, Gas Tubes, and Sound Suppressors
Concept Group, Inc. has disclosed that the company is developing the new Insulon® Thermal Cloak™ heat barrier for use on automatic weapons. The barrier, which is attached to the fore-end of the weapon, uses a hair-thin Shaped Vacuum™ layer to prevent thermal imagers from seeing the weapon’s hot barrel, gas tube and sound suppressor after firing.
The Company’s President and CEO, Aarne Reid, explained the importance of the new technology. “There was a time when our soldiers could count on darkness for cover. But those days – those nights – are long gone. The reason is thermal imaging devices,” Reid explained. “They’ll soon be everywhere on the battlefield, and to these thermal imagers, the residual heat given off by a hot object like a gun barrel looks like a brilliant white light, even though it’s invisible to your naked eye.”
The soldier holding such a weapon, whose barrel, gas tube and sound suppressor are still hot from firing, is in grave danger from thermal imagers. They can easily “see” the high heat still coming off the weapon long after firing, even though the soldier is in complete darkness. That puts him in an extremely vulnerable position.
The new Insulon thermal cloaking technology eliminates this risk. A tube whose wall contains a hair-thin Shaped-Vacuum layer surrounds the barrel and gas tube. It can completely stop the convection of heat, cloaking the weapon’s barrel, gas tube and sound suppressor with a virtually impenetrable thermal shield. Even though the weapon’s fore-end parts are extremely hot – hundreds of degrees – the outside of the Insulon Thermal Cloak remains at ambient temperature, virtually invisible to thermal imagers. (For how it works, see http://conceptgroupinc.com/thermal.html)
Reid noted that heat, which is the agitated movement of molecules, simply cannot travel through the Insulon vacuum layer. “No molecules,” he said, “no thermal conduction. An Insulon Thermal Cloak heat barrier simply stops heat cold, making it virtually undetectable by an enemy’s heat-sensing devices.”
The arc of thermal visibility of an uncloaked weapon (without an Insulon Thermal Cloak) is roughly 270 degrees. And, according to Howard Kent, National Small Arms Technology Consortium researcher working on Insulon applications for Concept Group, “If you fire your weapon until the suppressor is hot, you can be spotted by a thermal imager a thousand meters away. “
However, with an Insulon Thermal Cloak installed, the arc of thermal visibility is dramatically reduced, to roughly a 1- to 5-degree arc around the bore of the weapon. “Shrouding the suppressor and barrel with the Insulon Thermal Cloak,” said Kent, “prevents detection from the rear, sides, and front until viewed from right down the muzzle. Right where you want the enemy to be.”
Because of recent commercial developments, it is very likely that thermal imaging devices will soon become a common sight on both sides of the battlefield. Explained Kent, “Within very few years, thermal imagers will be everywhere… with a potentially disastrous effect on U.S. night-fighting superiority. Until now there hasn’t been an effective way to shroud our firearms so they wouldn’t be visible to these imagers. But now we can. The Insulon Thermal Cloak gives us a potent way to counter this wave of thermal imagers and maintain our night-fighting advantage.”
The Insulon Thermal Cloak is available today for custom development. It can be designed in virtually any size and shape.