Anti-drone clothing that prevents thermal imaging


I’ll bite.

Stayin’ alive expensive.


That’s some pretty expensive tinfoil hats right there.


Don’t drone me, bro.


Does it come with a hear sink? If not, this could be a secret plan to get people to pay to kill themselves by heat stroke.

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Even when that’s not an issue, wouldn’t it make you more likely to be hit by a self-driving car?


It’s all fun and games… well, until some wet blanket like me shows up to say: I work in image reconnaissance, and this flatout won’t work. It’s one thing not to give off a thermal sig, and rather another to give a sig that matches what would have been there if you weren’t. A person-shaped black hole in a picture of a field or sidewalk is pretty much a dead giveaway.


Shhh! My new product line is coming out - you can select the shape you actually want to appear as! Mini T-Rex has the best response in focus groups so far.


Anything with low emissivity and high reflectivity in thermal IR (count the ballpark of 4-12 micrometers) will do a good job. This is an early vanguard in the off-the-shelf fashion use of such materials so the price tag is rather unsurprising. Expect it to go down and/or appearance of cheap homemade solutions.

Paints with such optical/thermal properties exist for reducing energy losses of buildings. May be worth attention for fashion use. May also work well for vehicles.

The heat losses by radiation are not that much important for a human body to bring a heat stroke risk. Adequate airflow under/through the garment will mitigate this and is necessary anyway for an acceptable level of comfort.

This depends. At night, if the car has no lights and relies on FLIR to detect obstacles, yes. You can mitigate this risk by monitoring for signals emitted by such cars (vehicle-to-vehicle networks? on-board radar for obstacle detection? airplane-like transponder?) and getting an early warning. You can also have thermal beacons (heated pads of high emissivity, shielded so they are visible from low angles but not from above).

That’s why the high reflectivity of the material is important. It reflects the radiation of the surroundings, so you look pretty much similar to whatever is around you. Nonhomogenities inherent in mostly diffuse reflection from an irregular objects may aid here in blurring/breaking the contours of the object, much like how conventional visual camouflage works. (Please correct me if I am wrong.)


burqa, hijab, hoodie

Aren’t those the patterns that are most likely to be noticed by a drone…

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You don’t need to completely disappear. You only need to look uninteresting, like some random non-human background object. This would work particularly well if an automated system was going over the imagery in real time and calling in a human observer only when it sees a possible target.

Being human sized and moving around might spoil the effectiveness though, particularly with a human observer.

I actually once briefly worked with an Iranian who had worked inside of a state company to reverse engineer and produce IR reflective blankets for the Iranian Army. He eventually snagged his family and fled to the US, but he had some interesting stories.

I have a feeling that thermal reflective clothing is a bad idea. If you are actively hiding for a limited period of time, you should probably should throw fashion to the wind and wear proper thermally reflective clothing. If you are trying to hide continuously, I have a feeling that thermally reflective clothing is more likely to make you a target. This is only going to work if you are very conscious about where you are walking. It isn’t a predator suit. It is more like wandering around in a mirror suit. You are going to contrast against stuff in the background, especially if you are moving over stuff of different temperatures. If you walk from grass, to a road, and back to grass, you are going over a bunch of different temperatures, and your cute little reflective burka isn’t going to shift temperatures predator style to match. I’m not a drone pilot, but if I were, I imagine seeing that would make me WTF and put a few rounds in it because it looks like something bad.

I imagine could also be pretty easily defeated if the US is using composite images. If it takes thermal and night vision images and overlays them, and then highlights stuff that isn’t moving right, this would also stick out. Thermal imaging has been around forever. I would be shocked if there isn’t already a decent counter, especially against amature attempts at stealth.

It is a cute political statement, but if you really are on the run for US drones… I probably would go for something a little more sophisticated.

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It’s not a product, it’s pop art. But in that light, it looks to be making the artist quite successful.

“In the Privacy Gift Shop each product is a project, an investigation into the future of living with surveillance.”

It can be helpful in reducing one’s thermal signature, but, as you correctly noted, awareness of the surrounding environment’s signatures is critical for success. Movement may also assist in compromising the stealth, but a stationary person (e.g. waiting until the search drone moves out of range) has a decent chance of blending with the environment.

We have to wait until thermal cameras drop further in price, and then hack with them, play with the thermal camo tech in real-like scenarios. There are some imagers already in the sub-$1000 range on Aliexpress (beware, Chinese often do not make differences between near and far IR and may be confused with their own merchandise, many just hustle goods they don’t understand (fine with me but you have to count with it)), and then there’s the eBay, though its disadvantage vs the Chinese is that they typically don’t sell this outside of the US, and smuggling step is needed which adds a bit of risk and a lot of logistical overhead. (Yes, not all hackers/makers are in the US, and some are getting increasingly pissed at the US attempts, luckily increasingly ineffective (thank you, China!), to control the technology proliferation. Dual-use my rectum, access to multispectral imaging tech should be a worldwide inalienable human right.)

A bit more adventurous approach, for which I sadly lack resources (and worldwide the hackerspaces so far tend to be underequipped with vacuum tech, and sol-gel thin films aren’t too well mastered in the semiamateur domain yet too), is attempting to deposit a patterned thin film of a ferroelectric material on a suitable (aerogel?) substrate, on a matrix of readout electrodes. An opensource homemade-able FLIR array would be a cool project.

If we want to deny the adversary the visibility in a spectral range, we have to be able to see in that spectral range ourselves, to have the proper feedback for what we are attempting. That applies to visual camo (easy with standard-issue Mk.1 eyeballs), thermal, and even for longer wavelengths like radar cross-section issues and TEMPEST shielding.

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Is it for sale? Then it’s a product.

I’m puzzling over who the target market is, though. My best guess is paranoids with more money than sense. I’m not sure who else would pay $500+ to hypothetically appear in IR as a pair of running legs and floating hands. That’ll fool those sneaky ol’ guvmint types, I’m sure.

You are right, but my intention was to point out its more a statement and artistic question than an actual working product. Look at the hoodie version, it’s obvious this isn’t going to hide any heat profile except for the persons head.

The customers for this product are the artistically minded intellectuals to converse over the future-present surveillance state and the unmoderated murders of civilians performed by the US drone program. The artist even says so himself.

I’m actually quite jealous of the chap, he has made an OK project that is enjoying a lot of success. Right time and place…

Something for the debate. An old thermal imager video from the Operation Cast Lead is shown here:

The cameras have rather lousy resolution. Things look quite like grayscale blobs, and even with finer-grained sensors there will be constraints by both the optics and the tendency of nearby parts of objects to equalize their heat, therefore smearing the boundary. Check out other thermal videos (and photos), both military and civilian; there’s a plethora of them on Youtube and the rest of the Net.

I am using this video as an example as I am quite familiar with it; back then I did image analysis on a few frames (I wanted to know which side lies) for an article, calculating the aspect ratio and dimensions of the “black objects” loaded to the truck. The results? The “rods” were way thicker and shorter than the Grad missiles, but their sizes and size ratios fit well in the ones used by common welding-gas cylinders. Todo: do it again as a case study and describe the process of the analysis so people know they can find the truth on their own in later such cases. You can do IMINT at home.

Encourage women to wear a niqab ? Fuck these people.

As long as they (we) have a choice of wearing or not wearing it, why not. Coercion towards either side, whether legal or social, is wrong.

Face-obscuring fashion is quite a plus in the world of surveillance.

…and am I the only one who on seeing these outfits thinks about ninjas?

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