Full spectrum camouflage for combat clothing encompasses the ultraviolet, visible, (0.4 to 0.8 micron) near infra red (0.8 to 1.2 micron), and thermal far infra-red (2.0 to 5.6 and 8 to 14 micron)"
Visible, IR, UV images of uniform with right side treated with UVRC-A 7%
The world's militaries have acknowledged the need for camouflage in the near-ultraviolet. For decades, NATO has mandated a highly ultraviolet-reflective white paint as ultraviolet camouflage for all vehicles used in snow conditions.
A 2012 study from Iran noted:
The U.S. Army's "Soldier's Manual of Common Tasks - Skill Level 1" requires the soldier to learn to camouflage himself and his equipment from ultraviolet sensors and the U.S. Army Field Manual covering "Camouflage, Concealment, and Decoys" - FM 20-3 - warns the infantryman that ultraviolet sensors are a threat to guard against.
MIL-C-53004B, the U.S. Army military specification for camouflage systems requires UV camouflage, which only UVRC can provide.
Ultraviolet camouflage is necessary because of the variability of ultraviolet albedo - the percentage of ultraviolet light reflected from the soldier's immediate environment. Green foliage absorbs ultraviolet light, reflecting 7% percent or less, while the majority of the camouflage patterns, both for personnel and equipment, are significantly more reflective. Sandy turf, depending upon the silicates involved, may reflect as little as 3.3%, while many of the tans and grays used in camo are reflecting 50%+.
|DIFFUSE REFLECTION OF NEAR-ULTRAVIOLET FROM SURFACES *|
|Surface||Percent Diffuse Reflection @ 370nm|
|Fresh snow - 5cm||80|
|Fresh snow - 2cm||67|
|"Dirty" old snow||50|
|Dry dune sand||22|
|Dry sand - Baltic||21|
|Dry white dune sand||39|
|Atlantic beach sand - wet||9|
|Sea foam (surf)||39|
|Cultivated fields - stubble, beets, grass, oats, and rye||2|
|Green mountain grassland||2|
|Dry, parched grassland||4.8|
|Deciduous trees (leaves)||3 - 7|
|Concrete pavement - dry||15.6|
|Concrete pavement - wet||11|
|NH Granite boulder||70|
|Rough dark tree bark (oak)||15|
|Smooth medium tree bark (aspen)||50|
|White birch bark||70|
|* Compiled from published studies and author's research, then averaged.|
Richard A. Scott
Research & Technology Group, Defence Clothing & Textiles Agency
Colchester, Essex, CO2 7SS, United Kingdom.
from "Handbook of Technical Textiles" By A. Richard Horrocks, Subhash Anand, S. Anand (2000)
Camouflage of Cotton Fabrics in Visible and NIR Region Using Three Selected Vat Dyes
U. Goudarzi, J. Mokhtari,* M. Nouri
Department of Textile Engineering, The University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran
Received 10 January 2012; revised 13 May 2012; accepted 29 June 2012
UVRC is the only camouflage system designed for the near-ultraviolet spectrum.
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