Air Force Reveals its New Aircraft Cloaking System Uses Dark-Emitting Diodes (DEDs)

Fig.1: A photo taken just outside Groom Lake of an aircraft reputed to be the X-86b 'DED Jet' displays a stealthy profile.
Fig.1: A photo taken just outside Groom Lake of an aircraft reputed to be the X-86b “DED Jet” displays a stealthy profile.

Return to Article

View comments: oldest first | newest first | threaded
User Rank
Stock Keeper
Z-DED's as 'demonstrated' in conjunction with new US Air Force cloaking aircraft
Dr_Bob007   7/26/2015 12:09:45 PM
1 saves

Impressive technology advancement. Seeing the photo purporting to be the application functioning on an aircraft does gets the mind considering the applications. Amazing of course!

Especially from the perspective of a person's natural visibility/ability. I surmise this technology would be most likely deployed in application-specific utilities (such as propeller driven stealth drones; otherwise enabling them to become 'unseen' orbiting on station for extended periods of time). I imagine this is a good role; though I am unaware how much power is necessary to be generated to enable the array of Z-DED's to function as designed over what duration.

Perhaps a custom designed surveillance drone would be designed to take advantage of the on-station loiter opportunity? Kind of an intersting perspective.

From the perspecitve of aerial combat (if WWII 'eyes-on-target' aerial combat were the sole current skill set drivers enabling fighter pilots) that would be an exceptional advancement. However today things are far more advanced in almost all theaters.

The plethora of technical tools commonly available within advanced fighters would likely offer solutions to this technology in conjunction with typical starwars like tech remotely tracking target signals from afar.

Still, thermal exhaust from jet engines is a given. This heat byproduct is but one key driver. Heat trail is rather easily detectable (and trackable) using currently available FLIR technology; especially at altitude where outside air temperature is significantly lower.

FLIR-specific tools designed to auto scan for thermal differentials at very high speed will alert to specific target zones which enable focused tracking by conventional FLIR means. (Note the exhaust plumes in the demonstration photo. I am reasonably certain the aircraft is not utilizing dry ice propellant? Or is it? Hmmm)

Otherwise the 'practical' intent of application is more likely to deploy optically stealthy jet aircraft in non-advanced third world theaters of operation where defence threats occur using Sopwith Camel technology?

Of course, there might be technical advance opportunity employing a tactical version of the "Solar Impulse 2". I imagine that would be directly proportional to the required solar panel surface wing area. Seems reasonably logical this tech consumes a considerable amount of power to make the entire array of Z-DED's function as required across the otherwise 'viewable' surface area. And the SI2 uses all it currently has to enable long distance endurance flight. I cannot imagine it deploying anything other than a camera.

Nonetheless, quite an impressively 'cool' technology these Z-DED's. One can imagine the application specific utility such as stealthy special ops applications.

More Blogs from Lee H. Goldberg
This week's top stories include "LED lighting officially declared a No-Brainer for most Businesses," a look at how Corning's new light diffusing fiber may find its way into clothing, and a new Li-Fi system which lets objects speak for themselves.
When one of the earbuds on your LG HBS-700 series Bluetooth headset dies, don't toss it. Fix it. And while you've got it popped open, why not add theater-quality sound and extra battery life?
Twitter Feed
EBN Online Twitter Feed
EBN Dialogue / LIVE CHAT
EBN Dialogue enables you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Open to the entire EBN community of electronics supply chain experts, these conversations see ideas shared, comments made, and questions asked and answered in real time. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats. Stay tuned and join in!
Archived Dialogues
Live Chat 01/15: CPOs Re-Shape Their Business Roles
Increasingly chief procurement officers (CPOs) are re-shaping their organizational role to focus on creating results far beyond cost controls. A new IBM survey explores how.
Live Chat 11/12: Examining the Cyberthreat to Supply Chains
The number of cyberattacks is on the rise and hackers are targeting the supply chain. Drew Smith, founder and CEO of InfoArmor, will be on hand to discuss the reality of today's threat landscape and what to do about it.