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Saab ULCAS – Anti Radar Exposure Camouflage Net

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    Saab ULCAS – Anti Radar Exposure Camouflage Net

    Saab, known as an aerospace and defense manufacturer from Sweden, recently introduced an advanced camouflage net called Ultra-Lightweight Camouflage Screen (ULCAS). Not just a camouflage net which is commonly used in forest and tree areas, ULCAS is claimed to be able to block the emission of radar signals, but allows the entry (transmission) of GPS (Global Positioning System) and radio signals.

    For more than a century, camouflage has been a defining aspect of modern warfare. Being able to hide from the enemy or at least create a strong element of doubt in the opponent's mind, in turn provides a tactical advantage for troops on the front lines.

    In its release, Saab said the ULCAS camouflage net has a color pattern and 3D surface structure that allows troops underneath to blend into the foliage, as well as blocking infrared to thwart heat-seeking sensors. 

    Additionally the material and pattern of the ULCAS grid are designed to absorb and attenuate radar signals from ground, air and space-based systems, making it more difficult for adversaries to detect or identify what is beneath the mesh.

    If a squad or team of troops in the field wants to know its whereabouts or receive orders from headquarters, they must install an antenna outside the net. In radar terms, it's like flashing a mirror.

    To overcome this, at the request of prospective customers, the Saab Barracuda business unit modified the ULCAS net with a ULCAS Frequency Selective Surface (FSS) system. It uses a new grating pattern that focuses on the high end of the electromagnetic spectrum to attenuate radar signals in the 1 to 100 GHz range, but allows lower end signals for GPS and radio to pass through.

    According to Saab, the technology can be tweaked to suit specific applications, including reversing the damping effect to allow radar signals to pass through, but not via radio, so that netting can be used to hide radars and air defense systems from (for example) attempted anti-radiation missile attacks.

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