Radar detection has always been the nightmare of military aircrafts. Once spotted in the radar zone, it is easy to destroy the aircraft in mid air by using anti-aircraft missiles. Defense personnel’s across the world are investing billions to develop better stealth equipped aircrafts that will easily escape from radar eyes. The concept of stealth is applied on an aircraft by making changes in the aircraft design such that it deflects the radar beams instead of reflecting them. The aircraft design is such that there are no perpendicular sections in the body of the plane, so the radar beam never reflects back to the receiver. While making a stealth aircraft we have to compromise with one of its main factor – the engine power. Though reducing the engine power can reduce the heat signature, the speed of the aircraft will also be compromised. What if we could develop a better stealth technology without compromising the aircrafts’ speed? We are talking about a technology that will make any aircraft invisible for radars.
Researchers have invented a special nano tube paint to make any object ultra black. This concept is also used for making aircrafts invisible to radars.
Engineers of NASA developed carbon nano tubes, being the ‘blackest ‘known material for their space missions. Carbon nano tubes will absorb 99 percent of any light- ultraviolet, visible or infrared that strikes on it. The material is also known for its excellent electrical conductivity and high strength .Carbon nano tubes are tiny yet long tubular structures made of pure carbon. A professor from Michigan University L J Guo first realized that by applying the nano paint or the nano tube coating, the aircraft could absorb the radar waves there by making it virtually invisible.
The researchers implanted large volumes of nano tubes into various substances like silicon wafer. Nano tubes have to be planted in a particular manner to make its reflective index similar to surrounding air. After implantation, the light is absorbed without being scattered. A practical method to implant nano tubes on the surface of aircrafts has not been developed until now. Perfect results were obtained only when nano tubes were implanted in tiny particles under the influence of high temperature and pressure. Guo suggested that first, the nano tubes has to be implanted in tiny particles and then suspended in the paint for stealth aircrafts. Earlier, to prevent absorption and radioactive properties, a metallic mixture was added to black paint and then coated on the aircraft. However, this would add excess weight to the machine. Since nano tube has ultra black property and is denser, there is no need of any additives.