Military Wraps Inc. has introduced two advances in next-generation technology?P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D and advanced applications in the Photo Veil.
P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D transforms standard shoot-house training into a vivid three-dimensional experience, and the Photo Veil, a scalable concealment device, is actively advancing to products and prototypes.
"A huge shift has occurred in advanced optics," said Trevor J. Kracker, president of Military Wraps. "So P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D and Photo Veil can incorporate the imaging from cameras?in the field, drones, satellites, LIDAR, and others?and loop back to the mission by integrating these high-resolution images, already in hand and specific to the operating site, into both camouflage and immersive training."
The P.I.R.A.T.E.?Photo-Immersive Realistic Aides for Training Environments?debuted 10 months ago, and was recognized as a breakthrough in creating situational realism. P.I.R.A.T.E. utilizes site-specific, high-resolution megapixel photographic images, computer-edited for proper scale and perspective, and rendered by large-format printing technology onto special vinyls. These vinyls are then applied to interiors or exteriors of training sites, giving a remarkable realism to training exercises across a broad spectrum of potential crisis situations.
Military Wraps developed P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D(TM), using high-density polyurethane panels produced from molds that replicate the actual textures of mission environments. These polyurethane Mission Molds are then used as the base to apply the vinyls of high-resolution megapixel photographs.
Photo Veil combines high-resolution megapixel digital images, state-of-the-art inking systems, and revolutionary lightweight and waterproof mesh material to duplicate precisely any operational environment: mountain, desert, jungle, forest, and all varieties of urban. In addition to sniper/spotter concealment, Photo Veil applications include surveillance, counter surveillance, escape-and-evasion, and force protection.
The Photo Veil is lightweight, portable, waterproof, folds or rolls easily like a large wall map, and works fast in any environment?mountain, desert, jungle, forest, and urban. The Photo Veil can also be scaled to accommodate any size: from the individual combatant to the large fighting unit or stationary emplacements and equipment.
The Photo Veil features quick-up/quick-down ease of use and can be customized for One-Way Visibility, so that the concealed combatant can actually see through the Photo Veil.
An example: "Sniper" Photo Veil advances the effectiveness of snipers in the field by ameliorating the debilitating high temperatures that snipers endure in suits and blinds, while simultaneously mitigating thermal and infra-red footprints and digitally matching the operating environment with greatly enhanced accuracy. The Photo Veil can also be incorporated into Ghillie suits and blinds, and Military Wraps is now actively developing a Ghillie "hut" in conjunction with Montgomery Manufacturing International.
"The speed and adaptability of P.I.R.A.T.E. is cost-effective, saving time in training and allowing a facility an essentially unlimited number of immersive training environments at one site," Kracker said. P.I.R.A.T.E. and P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D easily reconfigure and transform by overlaying the next site-specific photo-vinyls on top of previous ones or by flipping the P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D panels.
P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D also maintains a distinct advantage in durability. "Some MOUT sites that relied on 'Hollywood-type facades' made of polystyrene found themselves in a double bind of weather and daily wear and tear, not to mention being locked in for one use only," Kracker said. The special polyurethane in P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D has superior chemical structure and better temperature-range characteristics than polystyrene.
In November 2007, Military Wraps introduced two new camouflage technologies?Photo-Stealth and Photo-Real?vinyl-adhesive processes and photographic digital detailing that can match terrain so vividly that vehicles, weapons, equipment, and engineered structures can seem to disappear into the surrounding battlefield environment, far outstripping the painted-on concealment then used by the US military. The company has premiered a number of patented technologies since then, including Photo Veil, P.I.R.A.T.E., and P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D.
"We've had a wave of interest from a number of companies, who understand the orders-of-magnitude advance in camouflage and immersive training," Kracker said. "As well as military leaders who want this at their disposal now."
Kracker said that Military Wraps is working with Lockheed Martin Training and Simulation Division, among others, on upcoming training-range development projects.
Currently, Military Wraps is developing applications for multiple Army, Air Force, Navy, and USSOCOM training ranges to further answer the need for photographic realistic methods in immersive training using the P.I.R.A.T.E. and P.I.R.A.T.E. 3-D systems.