The Army hopes to hide its soldiers from infrared sensors by using carbon microfibers.
The goal is to develop better smoke grenades and other obscurants that can screen troops from IR sensors, according to the Army research solicitation. [http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir/solicitations/sbir20161/army161.html
"Smoke and obscurants play a crucial role in protecting the warfighter by decreasing the electromagnetic energy available for the functioning of sensors, seekers, trackers, optical enhancement devices and the human eye," the Army said. "Recent advances in materials science now enable the production of precisely engineered obscurants with nanometer-level control over particle size and shape."
Fibers should be about 50 nanometers or smaller. "This technology could have application in other DoD interest areas including high explosives, fuel/air explosives and decontamination," the Army said.