Feeds

WW2 naval dazzle-camo 'could beat Taliban RPGs'

Bristol trick-cyclists' comical claim

High performance access to file storage

Biologists and trick-cyclists at Bristol uni say they have performed experiments indicating that if British troops were to use the "dazzle camouflage" favoured for warships in the World Wars on their vehicles in Afghanistan, this would make them harder to hit with RPG anti-armour rockets, a favourite Taliban weapon.

A Spartan armoured vehicle equipped with TARIAN textile protection in 'Dazzle' pattern. credit: DSTL

If we encounter any German U-boats in the GAFA, their torpedos will be useless!

Dr Nick Scott-Samuel, psychologist and lead researcher on the study, wrote:

The effect should obtain... on modern, low-tech battlefields where handheld weapons are fired from short ranges against moving vehicles. We show that in a typical situation involving an RPG7 attack on a Land Rover the reduction in perceived speed would be sufficient to make the grenade miss where it was aimed by about a metre, which could be the difference between survival or otherwise for the occupants of the vehicle.

Can this be true?

Let's look at the details. The study involved showing test subjects different patterns moving across a computer screen, in an attempt to see whether the nature of the pattern affected the subject's perception of it. According to Scott-Samuel and his colleagues, high-contrast zigzag or check patterns moving fast made their subjects underestimate speeds consistently.

However, the threshold at which this was seen involves pretty high speeds. The subjects only began to get their speed estimates wrong when the dazzle-cam patterns were tracking past at 20 degrees/second or more, which in the case of a vehicle 70m away means it must be travelling at 55 mph or more.

The researchers go on to say that this will make it noticeably harder to hit such a vehicle with an RPG* shoulder-fired rocket, a common weapon in use by the Taliban:

Dazzle patterning should offer some protection from such devices. The effect size observed for check and zigzag patterns at this speed is an error of circa 7 per cent. An approximate calculation, based on the best available knowledge of the flight characteristics of a typical weapon, shows that the grenade takes around 0.5 s to reach a target at 70 m [22]; in 0.5 s a 90 km/h [55 mph] vehicle moves 12.5 m, and so a 7 per cent error is about 90 cm. In other words, the missile would hit around 1 m behind where it was aimed, a difference which may be sufficient to prevent loss of life.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Come off it

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.