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Fractal Camo For Ships and Planes
by James Dunnigan
April 9, 2008

Discussion Board on this DLS topic

Aircraft, armored vehicles, and even ships are now using the new "fractal" camouflage patterns that proven so popular, and useful for ground troops. Also called "digital camouflage", this technique uses "pixels" (little square or round spots of color, like you will find on your computer monitor if you look very closely), instead of just splotches of different colors. Naturally, this was called "digital camouflage" when it was first invented three decades ago. This pattern proved considerably more effective at hiding troops than older methods. For example, in tests, it was found that soldiers wearing digital pattern uniforms were 50 percent more likely to escape detection by other troops. What made the digital pattern work was the way the human brain processed information. The small "pixels" of color on the cloth makes the human brain see vegetation and terrain, not people. One could provide a more technical explanation, but the "brain processing" one pretty much says it all.

Many nations are trying digital patterns on vehicles (aircraft, tanks and ships) in the belief that the same "visual disruption" effect will be present. There has not been a lot of research in this area yet, but that is not stopping a lot of vehicles adopting the new paint scheme.

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