Accession Number:

ADA604249

Title:

The Cheshire Jet: Harnessing Metamaterials to Achieve an Optical Stealth Capability

Descriptive Note:

Wright Flyer Paper no. 44

Corporate Author:

AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

57.0

Abstract:

Laboratory research that melds physics with materials science has ventured into the design of matter with unique electromagnetic characteristics and response functions. This new class of ordered composites--known as metamaterials--exhibits exceptional, unnatural properties derived from their structure rather than from their composition. These materials promise to provide significant advances in stealth and survivability technology both of which are highly applicable for future Air Force capabilities against a counter-low observable, directed energy-equipped integrated air defense system. This paper addresses the question, Will metamaterials facilitate an operationally feasible and significant optical stealth capability for the US Air Force To answer this question, the authors research is directed at the advances and development patterns of optical band metamaterials specifically, it addresses the leading indicators of frequency bandwidth, and energy loss. Following that, a backcasting futures technique helps uncover the obstacles of metamaterial durability, suitability, and manufacturability. This paper concludes with a 20-year timeline for optical band metamaterial capabilities and applications. This paper highlights the need for continued Department of Defense DOD funding and pursuit of metamaterial cloaking technology. The near-term objective of such a program should be the development of infrared laser protection and the reduction of the optical signature of currently fielded systems and their follow-ons.

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Laminates and Composite Materials

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE