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Stealth Paint From German Inventor Werner Nickel

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the peek-a-boo-you-can't-see-me dept.

The Military 193

Gerhardius writes "Werner Nickel sounds like a Disney-style wacky inventor. He moved to the UAE to develop his previous invention: he had bred a worm whose excrement made it possible to grow radishes in the dry desert sand. That project failed so he moved on to the next item on his agenda, naturally a radar absorbing paint. While it certainly is not unique, there is some interesting history behind the development, and a proposed civilian use."

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193 comments

Still a long way to go (5, Funny)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#23293982)

he had bred a worm whose excrement made it possible to grow radishes in the dry desert sand.

But can that excrement allow humans to see the future and travel faster than light?

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 5 years ago | (#23293992)

You're thinking of LSD. That's already in the dessert, see "Burning Man" wikipedia.com .

Or maybe the author is On LSD (1, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295572)

This radar absorbing paint sounds like horseshit to me. This guy must be on LSD.

When light hits a surface, it can be reflected, or transmitted. If' it's transmitted then it's going to go through the paint and strike the metal and be reflected.

The only way around this for a linear system is if all the following conditions are met
1) the paint absorbs
2) the paint has an index match to air that is perfect.
3) the absorption depth is on the scale of or larger than the wavelength.

If a material is strongly absorbing, ironically, it also becomes a better reflector due to the impedance mismatch. (air is not strongly absorbing). The only way to correct the impedance mismatch of the permativity is to also have a compensating change in the magnetic permiability. (For broadband absorbtion ferrites, for narrow band absorption maybe something else).

I don't think some thin paint layer can meet any of these.

It's conceivable non-linear materials could do the job but I don't thing there's enough energy in the radar pulse to activate such non-linearities.

I think this is bullshit

Re:Still a long way to go (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294186)

But can that excrement allow humans to see the future and travel faster than light?

If you don't get it, the OP is a reference to Frank Herbert's novel Dune [amazon.com] where the chemical produced by the sandwords of the desert planet Arrakis proved the key to faster-than-light travel by giving starship steersmen superhuman powers.

While I admire Herbert's creation of a science fiction novel based on modern studies of desert ecology, I felt the whole spice deal weakened the hard sci-fi goodness of what otherwise would have been a less fantastical book.

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294244)

The spice expands consciousness! :D

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294576)

The spice expands consciousness! :D
The geriatric spice extends life, and in large doses, expands consciousness. It is needed for space travel. The spice is the most precious substance in the universe, and it is only found on one planet.

What I never understood, is how they ever got to Arrakis in the first place, if you can't get there without the use of a substance only found there :-S

Re:Still a long way to go (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294668)

You can still travel through space without the spice, just not faster than light. Well technically you can, just not safely.

The Spacing Guild has a monopoly on imperial banking and interstellar travel: with the use of melange, Guild Navigators are the only beings capable of piloting the massive Guild Heighliners safely through space. The heightened awareness and prescience the spice grants allows the Navigator to plot a safe course between the stars.

Heighliner operation requires both a Guild Navigator and a Holtzman generator. The Holtzman generator uses the Holtzman effect to "fold space" and allows virtually instantaneous interstellar travel. The Navigator is responsible for finding a safe path through folded space and guiding the ship. This is accomplished under the influence of melange in the form of orange spice gas. Melange provides the Navigator with the limited form of prescience required.

Re:Still a long way to go (2, Informative)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294680)

You can also go there with the use of really smart computers to do the navigating, but those are banned in the Dune universe due to a war with sentient machines ~10000 years before the time of the Dune books.

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294684)

Presumably they had other methods of travel but spice-fueled travel is the most efficient way.

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

Lord Maud'Dib (611577) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295254)

Spice had nothing to do with making the ship travel faster than light. The Holtzman effect was used to "fold space" long before the spice was used to navigate it. The spice only allows you to see into the future a little way and this allows them to plot a course without obstacles because travelling faster than light - actually near instantaneously - would of course make all other forms of obstacle detection ineffectual. Yes I do know a lot about Dune, I actually appeared on a TV game show with it as my specialty.

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295462)

"Yes I do know a lot about Dune, I actually appeared on a TV game show with it as my specialty."

I assume spelling Dune-related names correctly wasn't a requirement? :p

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

JFitzsimmons (764599) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295256)

Indeed they did, and this was covered in the prequel trilogy Legends of Dune [wikipedia.org] . It also covers the creation of several other foundations of the Dune universe.

a space opera oblig (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294520)

I felt the whole spice deal weakened the hard sci-fi goodness of what otherwise would have been a less fantastical book.
You need unobtanium to go faster than light.
And you need to go faster than light to reach another planet while you're still young.

Re:a space opera oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294930)

why is this a problem?

Oh you're thinking of you. Now put it this way - you need unobtanium to go FTL; and you need previous generations who worked hard to develop fast-enough interstellar travel to go there, get it, and kick-start a whole new technology.

its a sad start of affairs when the current generation wants everything, wants it now, and isn't happy to work towards it.

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294614)

the chemical produced by the sandwords of the desert planet Arrakis proved the key to faster-than-light travel by giving starship steersmen superhuman powers.

To be utterly pedantic, the spice provided the key to faster-than-light navigation rather than travel/speed. The only way to navigate safely at super-light speed involves information that travels faster than light. It's an interesting point that all other Sci-Fi seems to have ignored; assuming we could travel faster than light, navigation would be an impossible hurdle (with regard to small objects... big objects you could plan for).

The spice allowed people to develop psychic powers, and see into the future and at a distance in the present. It's the least supernatural thing I can really imagine, and it deals with human consciousness, which has a supernatural aspect already.

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295014)

>I felt the whole spice deal weakened the hard sci-fi goodness of what otherwise would have been a less fantastical book.

Err, the entire premise of the book is about the spice. How it affects culture and religion. Youd also have to toss out the bene gesserit, life extension, expanded consciousness, arakkis, etc. You would then end up with a story about a prince who walked around his castle wishing he had better things to do.

Stick to the hard sci-fi instead of trying to mold creative authors into your boring restraints. Thanks.

Paint made from dead Jews, per German law (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294326)

In keeping with German tradition, the stealth paint is made from the ground up bones of Jewish slave labour.

Of course, working in the United Arab Emirates, his employers contend (a) this never happened, (b) it happened but the Jews are making a big deal about it, and (c) it happened but the paint would be better if more Jews were killed.

The BBC has reported that this may of happened but it is the fault of Jewish policies towards the Arabs and the Jew's inhuman restrictions placed on mobile phone use by Palestinian prisoners.

Re:Still a long way to go (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294500)

he had bred a worm whose excrement made it possible to grow radishes in the dry desert sand.

But can that excrement allow humans to see the future and travel faster than light?
First, the sleeper must awaken.

Let me guess .. (5, Funny)

ccozan (754085) | more than 5 years ago | (#23293984)

worm whose excrement made it possible to grow radishes in the dry desert sand..
.. the radishes are quite ... spicy?

Civilian use? (1, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#23293990)

Hmmm, I could see that being problematic. So a marginally informed Cessna owner wants to give his new plane a paint job. Then it's "Cessa to tower. Requesting clearance to land" - "Tower to Cessna, you are not showing up on radar and do not exist."

Re:Civilian use? (5, Informative)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294008)

Except that commercial airports use transponders, not radar, to locate planes.

Re:Civilian use? (4, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294148)

Oh, jeez...

The transponders are in the airplanes, not on the airports. They help the airport's radar to see airplanes.

A transponder is a combination of a receiver and a transmitter that receives the pulses from a radar; generates a train of pulses that encode the identification and altitude of the airplane; and transmits them back to the radar. That way the guy sitting at the radar not only sees the airplane more easily, but knows which airplane it is and how high.

rj

Re:Civilian use? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294582)

The transponders are in the airplanes, not on the airports.
I'm pretty sure they both have one.

Re:Civilian use? (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295208)

The transponders are in the airplanes, not on the airports.
I'm pretty sure they both have one.
You're full of it. Transponders in airports make no sense. What mode does it operate in, mode U for Useless?

Re:Civilian use? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294648)

"That way the guy sitting at the radar not only sees the airplane more easily, but knows which airplane it is and how high."

They also squawk identification codes for each aircraft, and can be set to 7500 to signal a hijack.

Re:Civilian use? (3, Informative)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295024)

That's really not how transponders work. They do not receive the radar pulses and send them back to the radar with ID information encoded into the pulses.

They are totally seperate and unrelated systems operating on radically different frequencies. The only things they have in common is that the base station antenna is typically mounted somewhere on the rotating radar antenna so that they are ensured to both be pointing in the same direction, and they generally share a single display, with the information received from the airborne transponders superimposed over the radar video. You can break either system, and the other one will still work perfectly, just so long as the antenna is still turning and the display still works.

Re:Civilian use? (2, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295242)

You're describing the distinction between primary and secondary radar. Yes, they're separate systems, but they're both radars. One operates on reflected pulses ("skin painting"), the other on transponded pulses, but they both get their bearing information from the pointing direction of the antenna and their range information from the out-and-return travel time of the pulses. The only difference is that the secondary radar gets information that is furnished by the airborne installation: identification ("squawk code", including emergency and hijack notifications) and pressure altitude.

rj

Re:Civilian use? (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295354)

No, they are both not radars. I do QA on the maintenance of both of these systems for the US Navy, as well as training and qualifying of technicians. If one of our techs referred to a interrogater/transponder communications link as "secondary radar" I'd tell his supervisor that the guy needs to go back to school.

If a system relies on the target to actively transmit an information-bearing signal, it is NOT radar.

Re:Civilian use? (1)

syncrotic (828809) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294038)

Much more useful: radar absorbing paint for cars, to defeat police revenue enhancement activities. You can detect and jam laser, and you can detect radar... but the FCC tends to frown on jamming the latter. This is the next best thing.

Of course that won't stop Them from outlawing it, just as states are already banning laser jammers, which are nothing more than a photo sensor, a few high power IR LEDs, and some software.

Re:Civilian use? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294276)

Static Speed cameras are optical (they take two photos at a fixed interval and measure the distance you've travelled.. it's really simple and undefeatable), and there are mobile optical versions too.. they just switch technology.

btw. those 'jammers' are useless. By the time they detect the radar it's way too late.

That relies on cars that are ferro magnetic (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295238)

When the sensor imbedded in the road is triggered by the iron object moving across it, it generates a current. The trick is to get a car that is non ferromagnetic.

Re:Civilian use? (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295330)

btw. those 'jammers' are useless. By the time they detect the radar it's way too late.
I used to have one that actually did work. Most of the time at least. I used to drive by cops at 90mph without getting a ticket. I did slow down when I saw him of course, but by then he could already tell that I was speeding. I think the idea was that cops were so used to relying on their radar equipment that they were really distracted by not getting a reading and by then the speeder had already slowed down. So there wasn't much point in giving chase. I mean they could. But why not go for the easier fish. No shortage of speeders without radar jammers after all. It was a great and geeky feeling to be able to get shot with radar at such high speeds and not get a ticket. The problem was it only worked for X and K band, which after a few years started to become more and more rare and the jammer couldn't be relied upon.

Those jammers worked by sending back an active signal as soon as they detected an incoming one. The circuitry was fast enough to do the job. Supposedly they would get a "no reading possible" or something on their display. Aside from the real deal of not getting pulled over after getting nailed at high speed, I also used to test it against those police displays that are supposed to show your speed. It usually worked but not always. Sometimes it would show a speed like 10mph higher than I was going. Also it could be a problem in traffic with cars that had radar detectors. The unit would get quite a few false positives and then all the cars with detectors would jam on their brakes forcing me to drive even slower.

Nowadays there are really too many different threats to guard against them all. What amazes me is that there are laser jammers that supposedly work. I would have thought that to be much more difficult. Turns out to be easier.

Re:Civilian use? (2, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294356)

If you had RTFA, then you would have stumbled upon the following lines:

In one respect, however, Essen's message is disappointing. Drivers can't expect to become invisible to police radar traps anytime soon. "When an object is moving at such close range," he admits, "even the best shield paint doesn't do any good."

Re:Civilian use? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295444)

I hear Cirrus has already bought 100,000 gallons of it... it will be standard feature starting in the 2010 model year.

Radar traps on the highway... (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294014)

Drivers can't expect to become invisible to police radar traps anytime soon. "When an object is moving at such close range," he admits, "even the best shield paint doesn't do any good."
Damn.

Re:Radar traps on the highway... (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294366)

--
And the worms ate into his brain.
So he's now growing radish out of his ears?

Uses (5, Insightful)

camperslo (704715) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294076)

All that stressful military/terrorist stuff aside, that paint might just be good for silencing cell phones in movie theatres. It's generally illegal to jam any sort of licensed transmission, but creating an environment that weakens the signal is a good workaround.

Perhaps adding a layer of the paint to some consumer products, like PCs, might be a viable way of reducing the R.F. noise (and security issues that go with it?) leaking out.

Re:Uses (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294146)

You don't need this paint to silence cell-phones in a theatre.. conventional construction techniques already exist to block wireless communication.

Here at the University of Toronto, there are several large lecture halls in the Bahen Institute of Technology building that are shielded, preventing students from using cell-phones, PDAs, wireless internet, etc.

I suspect in the case of movie theatres they have done some studies and decided that for whatever reason it is a better idea not to shield the movie halls. Whether this has to with liability issues or what, I don't know..

Aikon-

Re:Uses (2, Interesting)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294226)

if by conventional construction techniques you mean buying rolls of aluminum foil backed wallpaper, then yes, it's quite easy to make a cellphone proof building.

also there are simple devices that can make cellphones useless by interfering with their broadcast frequency (cellphone jammers) but i would think that aluminum foil backed wallpaper would be cheaper long term than a jammer, the advantage of a jammer is that it can be disabled from when the credits roll until the film starts...

i think the main reason not to jam/build a cheap aluminum based Faraday cage is simple. it's cheaper not to, and people can't sue you for missing a phone call that was a life or death situation (eg: a doctor who was on call trying to catch the latest film, getting called in for a medical emergency)

a little far fetched, but even doctors like movies. if their cellphone doesn't work at the movies, they might not go there...

Re:Uses (0, Flamebait)

ahg (134088) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294408)

(eg: a doctor who was on call trying to catch the latest film, getting called in for a medical emergency)

a little far fetched, but even doctors like movies. if their cellphone doesn't work at the movies, they might not go there...
There is a perfectly good solution to this. Make it known that doctors shouldn't be in that theatre when they're on call. I'm sorry but being a doctor is not an excuse to be rude to everyone else. If you're on call, in life and death situations, spend your time elsewhere. Doctors are usually well compensated in the U.S. for the inconveniences on their schedule that their profession demands and I don't think they need to be accomodated at the theatre or other venues where taking a cell phone call would be considered rude.

My guess is the theatres bigger fear is the parent who sues over missing a frantic emergency call from a young baby sitter. A jury will more likely identify and sympathise with a parent looking for a night out, than a doctor who's paid for being available and putting themselves in a situation where they weren't.

Re:Uses (1)

brian_tanner (1022773) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294698)

There is a perfectly good solution to this. Make it known that doctors shouldn't be in that theatre when they're on call.
Don't forget other places where we don't enjoy being bothered by cell phones or loud phone conversations. Like restaurants, coffee shops, classrooms, the library, etc. Without much imagination, we could create a society that makes life impossible for people who must be available to receive important calls while they are not at their desks. Unfortunately, it's probably the doctors and 24 hour plumbers that *are* responsible ones: they put their phones on vibrate. It seems weird to say that responsible Dr. Joe can't go to a fancy restaurant when he is on call, because YOU don't want to be bothered by some other irresponsible Mr. Dickhead.

Re:Uses (1)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294868)

Don't forget other places where we don't enjoy being bothered by cell phones or loud phone conversations. Like restaurants, coffee shops, classrooms, the library, etc.

That would be awesome. I don't like hearing people talk on the phone in those places either.

Without much imagination, we could create a society that makes life impossible for people who must be available to receive important calls while they are not at their desks.

Oh come now. Make life impossible? I suppose life began in the mid 90's? There are plenty of places you can get cell service even if every building in the world was shielded. Like outside. Even if every cell network ceased to exist, and became impossible to rebuild, life would go on, and would still kick ass. Phones are nice, but not necessary for life.

Re:Uses (1)

brian_tanner (1022773) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295098)

Phones are nice, but not necessary for life.
Sorry if I skated around my point. I'm not suggesting that phones are necessary for a fulfilling, productive life. I'm saying *certain* careers and circumstances make it *absolutely required* to be always reachable, in our *current* society.

I agree, as you suggest, doctors can get cell service outside if every building in the world is shielded. But it also means that a doctor on call *cannot* enter any building that is shielded, even if he is the most responsible cell user in the world. It also means that I cannot go into those building if I have a relative in the hospital, for fear that I might miss an important call to their deathbed, for example. People that, by virtue of career or circumstance, are required to be reachable could be forced to live some muted version of their life in this scenario. I thought our fancy tools were supposed to free us, not limit us?

Anyway, all I'm trying to say is that it would be a damn shame if the convenience of personal communication is ruined for the responsible people in order to solve the problem created by irresponsible people. But I guess in general that's the way our society tends to go.

Re:Uses (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294706)

My guess is the theatres bigger fear is the parent who sues over missing a frantic emergency call from a young baby sitter. A jury will more likely identify and sympathise with a parent looking for a night out, than a doctor who's paid for being available and putting themselves in a situation where they weren't.

It's actually quite simple. Intentionally interfering with the operation of a licensed wireless communications device through the use of any unlicensed device is automatically your fault, in violation of FCC bullshit, and will get you smacked down. The FCC will send someone in to testify against you, and then when you lose, you'll end up paying for that guy's travel and time in the followup suit to recover legal costs.

My guess is the theatres bigger fear is the parent who sues over missing a frantic emergency call from a young baby sitter. A jury will more likely identify and sympathise with a parent looking for a night out, than a doctor who's paid for being available and putting themselves in a situation where they weren't.

If a babysitter has a real emergency they can call 9-1-1 and no one gets hurt. If there's no one working at the hospital, then 9-1-1 is fucked. This point will surely be made by any competent lawyer trying to prove that you are an asshole.

Re:Uses (1)

ahg (134088) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294818)

It's actually quite simple. Intentionally interfering with the operation of a licensed wireless communications device through the use of any unlicensed device is automatically your fault, in violation of FCC bullshit, and will get you smacked down. The FCC will send someone in to testify against you, and then when you lose, you'll end up paying for that guy's travel and time in the followup suit to recover legal costs.

Well, I thought we were going with the notion here that a paint might be able to block RF signals... or rolls of aluminum. All passive signal blocking and not subject to FCC approval. You may need building permits but not FCC approval to panel your room with Aluminum sheeting. Yes active jamming would be illegal. It's the prospect of creating a very poor reception area, like I happen to have in my older condo hi-rise building (in my case due to thick concrete walls), that was the point being considered.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23295358)

simply because they have a cellphone powered on and receiving signal in the middle of a movie does not make any person rude. a very good alternative is to put it on vibrate and take the talk outside. also sit where you will cause minimal annoyance while leaving or returning.

not that I condone rude behavior but I am pretty sure that people would not mind a little inconvenience if it means saving a life.

plus more money != enjoyment. money can buy more of certain kinds of fun but there are things that money can never buy.

Re:Uses (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294410)

it's cheaper not to, and people can't sue you for missing a phone call that was a life or death situation (eg: a doctor who was on call trying to catch the latest film, getting called in for a medical emergency)

The on-call asshole can catch the movie when he's not on-call. It's common fucking decency. A supposedly intelligent doctor should have the common sense to realize what he's giving up when he accepts being on-call, or the money to buy a phone with vibrate. His job doesn't give him the right to bother people who are out trying to enjoy themselves.

Re:Uses (1)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294536)

I work in a hospital. When I am on call, I go to Blockbusters, not the movies.

Re:Uses (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294688)

I work in a hospital. When I am on call, I go to Blockbusters, not the movies.

Congratulations. Your medal is in the mail. Did you go to school to study the janitorial arts, or are you self-taught?

Re:Uses (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294732)

Regardless of who you are, it is not my responsibility to make sure you are available in case of an emergency. If you need to be available, it is your responsibility to adjust your behavior to increase the odds that you are available, given the provided situations you find yourself in. I don't care if you're a doctor with a patient in the ICU, a parent with a sitter at home, or anyone else for that matter.

A doctor will also be without cell phone service when taking a tour of the Great Mounds Cave. That doesn't mean we should put up cell towers in there. What it means he should not be there while on call. Same goes for a theatre or any other venue where cell reception is naturally or artificially unavailable. Although any venue where a reasonable person would expect cell service but cannot get it, should have reasonable notice. In this case a note on the ticket or at the door to the theatre.

I'm so tired of people trying to make me responsible for their bad decisions. That's what your parents are for. While you're under 18. After that, take ownership of yourself.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294290)

You don't need this paint to silence cell-phones in a theatre.. conventional construction techniques already exist to block wireless communication.
Yeah, they're called clubs, and you use them to bludgeon the jackass with the cell phone and no common courtesy. People remember to turn off their phones real fast once mister bluetooth has no teeth.

Re:Uses (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294586)

It's gonna work out real well for a university that blocks out phone calls like that when someone shoots up the school and nobody knows anything about it.

You'd think safety would be more important than some freshman getting a text with the quiz answers.

Re:Uses (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295146)

Notice I said "lecture hall", not "exam room".. also, there are phones and PAs hardwired in the room, so if a code were issued instructors would be informed via this means, just like any other school. It's pretty naive of you to think that students' cell-phones are the only way for security information to make its way around a school.

Re:Uses (1)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294726)

It probably has to do with the fact that medical doctors, sometimes visit movie theaters.
Whereas you have more freshman and sophmore sorority girls deciding what is an emergency in a college lecture hall. Movie theaters have this problem, but they have a higher concentration in college halls.
I'm dating myself, but I can't imagine what it is like a teen girl in a class equipped with a cell phone ('The Horror').[There you go Mr. Culver].

Re:Uses (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294900)

"It probably has to do with the fact that medical doctors, sometimes visit movie theaters."

I fail to see how that's relevant. Are you suggesting that doctors were unable to vist movie theaters prior to the invention of the cell phone?

Re:Uses (1)

HeavyD14 (898751) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294792)

Are they purposefully shielded, or are they just big brick buildings that block the signals as a side effect?

Re:Uses (1)

AikonMGB (1013995) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295168)

I believe it is intentional, because immediately outside the lecture halls (still inside the building) reception is perfectly fine, but as soon as you pass through the doorway it drops off to nil.

Re:Uses (1)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294342)

Jamming means broadcasting static, etc. on certain frequencies that you don't have a license for, but it's not illegal to block them. Insulating your house with tinfoil isn't illegal; it's just not a very good insulator.

Re:Uses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294638)

I hope a doctor you need someday doesnt like to go to movies!

Re:Uses (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295374)

The solution to cell phones in theaters is to get the cell phone manufacturers to agree on a standard "set to vibrate" signal that all cell phones will pick up. Then have short range transmitters at the entrances of the theaters. This would automatically set any phone entering the building to vibrate. There would not be the issue of emergency calls not getting through, and people would not forget to turn off their ringers.

For the inevitable "But people will still talk on them" argument... Getting people not to disturbe others in a theater is the job of the theater. It is a problem that has been presented by smoking, talking to other people, crying babies, and laser pointers. Some theaters choose to kick out people creating problems, and some theaters don't. Some jackass that decides to carry on a conversation during a movie with someone that is on the other side of town is no worse than the jackass that decides yell at the screen or carry on a conversation with the guy next to them.

If the cell phone manufacturers REALLY wanted to make the auto vibrate slick, they could set it up so that the auto vibrate mode could receive a second signal that could be mounted outside that turned the ringer back on if the way it was turned off was by the first signal. Another option would be that the ringer is turned off only while it is receiving the signal, and the transmitters could be put in the theater itself. Of course when the signal is first received, the phone should notify the owner that it is changing modes. Either by vibrating if it is already on vibrate, or by ringing with a its "I received a vibrate only signal" ring.

There should be many applications for this (3, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294102)

Think of a more efficient microwave oven. If it can scatter radar signals, it might just be a better coating for the inside of microwave ovens.

Then there is beamed power applications???

Perhaps this might lead to a method of shielding astronauts on their way to Mars? If it can deflect/scatter radar, can it be made to protect the Hubble?

There are literally thousands of applications where some shielding would be preferred to the current methods, especially in Military applications. I think that if he keeps it up, he might well help us discover how to shield from all manner of things. Shielding in Nuclear power plants is an issue that needs to be tackled better.

Imagine that if it can deal with radar, perhaps there is a way that this can lead to better coatings for fiber optic cables? 30Gbps not good enough for you? How would 100 Gbps with FTTH sound? It's all in how you deal with shielding.

Anything that is as thin as paint and does the job can lead to major improvements in many other things. I hope something really good comes of this and not just some Patriot Missle avoidance tactic.

Re:There should be many applications for this (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294176)

I'm sorry, but I thought that radiation in a nuclear power plant was completely different from radio waves. Which is why the whole cellphone use causes cancer thing is silly. And why do microwaves need to scatter waves? I thought the whole point was to create a standing wave inside the microwave? I think your confusing EM radiation with ionizing radiation (which is what the problem in space is).

Re:There should be many applications for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294268)

Which is why the whole cellphone use causes cancer thing is silly.

Yes, because there is only one mechanism in universe for causing cancer, which is ionizing radiation.

That whole study the other year concluding that electromagnetic radiation from cellphones can induce the activation of an ERK cascade which would then affect cell apoptosis and replication is clearly irrelevant. Since the only thing that can cause cancer is ionizing radiation.

Thank you random slashdotter for you contribution to making me feel better about my incessant cellphone usage.

Re:There should be many applications for this (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294190)

Think of a more efficient microwave oven. If it can scatter radar signals, it might just be a better coating for the inside of microwave ovens.

Antiradar paint does not scatter RF radiation. It absorbs it. If you coated the inside of a microwave oven with that stuff, it would (a) reduce the energy arriving at the food, and (b) heat up the walls of the oven, making your enchilada taste like burned paint.

You want the walls of the oven to reflect, not absorb.

rj

Re:There should be many applications for this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294220)

According to the article, it is not known, at least by the guy that tested the paint, whether it absorbs or scatters the radar waves.

There is no other mention of this in the article to indicate how the paint works.

Re:There should be many applications for this (2, Informative)

Dr. Cody (554864) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294214)

Shielding in Nuclear power plants is an issue that needs to be tackled better.
Actually, no, it isn't. I don't even think it's been an issue that needed to be tackled better within my lifetime. Nor would this help. 20 cm of rolled steel and 1.5 meters of reinforced concrete provides all the radiation protection you need until the pressure vessel ruptures.

Re:There should be many applications for this (1, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294746)

Actually, no, it isn't. I don't even think it's been an issue that needed to be tackled better within my lifetime. Nor would this help. 20 cm of rolled steel and 1.5 meters of reinforced concrete provides all the radiation protection you need until the pressure vessel ruptures.

Actually, you're 100% wrong, because there is the issue of contamination of the reactor containment vessel. When the plant is decommissioned this material will have to be disposed of somehow. If you can increase SAR of the material to the point where radiation penetrates to a lesser distance, then you don't need as thick a shield (1) which potentially reduces costs through reducing material use and the mass of the total structure (2) and it reduces the mass of the total waste at the time of decommissioning or refreshing of the containment vessel (3).

The cooling system is contaminated as well, and corrosion in the system results in radioactive contamination. So there are numerous places in which we could use new types of shielding.

Re:There should be many applications for this (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294886)

Why does a plant need to be decommissioned? The only reason I know if is tree-huggers suing or making it unprofitable to operate. I mean, concrete lasts a really long time, esp if you keep repairing it.

Re:There should be many applications for this (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295128)

Why does a plant need to be decommissioned? The only reason I know if is tree-huggers suing or making it unprofitable to operate. I mean, concrete lasts a really long time, esp if you keep repairing it.

Wow, that's pretty dumb. All things in this world are transient, you know. Or in simpler words, nothing lasts forever.

Anyway, every nuclear plant we have today (at least in the US) should be decommissioned, because they are all crap. But first we need to build some more modern designs.

Re:There should be many applications for this (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294236)

Think of a more efficient microwave oven. If it can scatter radar signals

Chances are that if it works for stealth applications it is absorbing signals instead of scattering them. In the presence of very strong signals it would heat up if that is the case.
That could still have uses in a microwave oven though, more shielding for the door/cabinet, and perhaps coatings for containers where one would rather generate heat at the container level instead of in the food.
Perhaps this could make it easier to cook eggs in a microwave without having them explode?

Reduced microwave radiation would lessen disruption to 801.11b wireless networks since they operate in the same band.

The radiation from a nuclear power plant is ionizing radiation, much different from microwave radiation.

If the paint is somewhat flexible, it might be a good coating or ingredient for the outer jacket of shielded cables. That would be a very good thing considering how much people skimp on copper. Aluminum foil shields in cables help, but the combination of aluminum and copper makes it unattractive to recyclers later. It is best to stick with one metal.

Kind of sort of. (1)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294288)

That's all good and stuff, but as mentioned, a lot of the radiation you're referring to has a very different wavelength/frequency than what it is currently known to block. And, in high-risk applications, toughness of the coating becomes an issue. What do you do when your nuclear power plant, or space ship, gets a scratch and begins leaking radiation?

Energy = heat (1)

richkh (534205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294230)

So you have a plane or other object coated in paint that absorbs radar energy. The absorbed energy has to go somewhere, so it shows up as heat. The object is now warm and visible to IR sensors. I'm sure it wouldn't be that difficult to combine IR sensors with a radar array: if where you're aiming your radar transmitter is warming up, there's something there!

Re:Energy = heat (1)

Idiot with a gun (1081749) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294298)

Right, but even current (and comparatively primitive, I'm assuming) generation stealth aircraft are pretty resistant to IR sensors (which often lack range detecting ability). The coating doesn't have to necessarily absorb all the energy, it just has to throw it somewhere where the original sender won't pick it up.

Re:Energy = heat (4, Insightful)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294302)

Actally the energy of radar is very low, except you stand directly in front of the emitter. Or when was the last time you got cooked by the radar from the airport next to you? You must have really good sensors to detect such low heat. I assume the heat of computers and electronics on board of a plane or the exhausts of the turbines are the much bigger problem for the one doesn't want to be 'seen'.

Re:Energy = heat (1)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294504)

Other anti-radar paints do this too. I doubt the hottest point of the airplane would be different if it "glowed" or not. Its exhaust is almost certainly hotter.

Re:Energy = heat (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294604)

One of the proposed explanations for how it works -- and exactly how it does work is not presently known -- is that it could be "a type of Jaumann absorber, which reflects incoming radar waves in such a way that they cancel each other out". The other way is some type of absorption. Also, do you have an idea of how much energy is put out by the typical radar? I'm guessing even if it fully absorbed 100% of the energy from the radar and converted it to heat, it would be so minuscule as to not matter.
 

Re:Energy = heat (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295518)

A radar dish might put out a LOT of energy. But how much is that 10 kilometers away? Inverse-square law and all.

Re:Energy = heat (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295542)

Do you really think the 'absorbed radar' will be hotter than the planes engines? mod -1 clueless.

Stereotypes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294448)

How long will it take until someone associates the worm excrement thing to german pr0n?

Doesn't everyone start that way? (1, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294610)

he had bred a worm whose excrement made it possible to grow radishes in the dry desert sand.

And here I thought you always had to do a worm breeding apprenticeship before learning the radar absorbing paint trade. That's the way my college career councilor outlined it for me.

From TFA (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#23294636)

Nickel, who is literally bubbling over with ideas...
Oh, is he? Does he literally carry a pan around to catch them? Do they literally need to mop up behind him when he walks across the room?

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23295040)

Sadly, PBF has been discontinued. :-(

I challenge you to a duel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23294862)

My choice of weapon is an AGM-114L Hellfire
missile with W-band seeker.

You get your armored vehicle of choice and as
much paint as you need.

Best two out of three.

civilian use (2, Funny)

tbischel (862773) | more than 5 years ago | (#23295094)

"While it certainly is not unique, there is some interesting history behind the development, and a proposed civilian use."

Finally, something better looking than tin foil to cover my house (and my hat)!
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