Monday, September 26, 2016

Marines Want Uniform Dye That Doesn't Show Up Under Black Light - Kit Up!

Marines Want Uniform Dye That Doesn't Show Up Under Black Light - Kit Up!: The Marine Corps’ patented MARPAT digital camouflage pattern does a great job of blending on the battlefield. But researchers are worried that the pattern won’t be quite so stealthy against an enemy armed with optics that pick up parts of the light spectrum not visible to the naked eye. That’s why officials with Marine Corps Systems Command are collaborating with the Army to study uniform dyes and materials that won’t glow bright under special optics and give troops’ positions away.

In August, the Army published a request for information for printed fabric materials, including MARPAT woodland and desert camouflage swatches that reduce the fabric’s signature when it’s seen through short-wave infrared, or SWIR, optics. Officials at the Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development & Engineering Center in Massachusetts hope the samples they obtain will determine the availability of existing technology and materials that will meet operational goals as they continue research.

Charles Bell, product manager for Infantry Combat Equipment at SYSCOM, said research involves the full spectrum, including signatures under black, or ultraviolet, light, which can make certain colors glow bright.

“We are looking at inks and mixes and dyes that [neutralize] the reflectance,” he said in an interview with

The difference in dyes would not be visible under ordinary light, Bell said.