US military research is taking place into the use of battlefield holograms to gain vital war data, it has been reported.
Rather than deploy holographic effects to confuse enemy forces, this research – which is taking place at various US sites – is exploring the potential of holograms to present battlefield information in 3-D, and the benefits these techniques could yield.
The researchers are effectively progressing technologies that would enhance the ability of US troops to collect-in mission data, plan operations and safely dispose of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), to name but three.
According to a report in the New York Times, the University of Arizona has been carrying out military holographic trials, in which a subject has been filmed, and the recording then watched at a separate location.
The technique is said to deliver a display where the image changes 30 times a minute, and it’s created via use of an array of laser cameras that capture data onto plastic. A specialised lighting system illuminates this plastic, causing the captured data to be displayed, in 3-D, holographically.
Speaking to the BBC last month, the Arizona researchers acknowledged that the technology was at an early stage, and that a faster data stream rate was needed to better portray reality.
Elsewhere, Columbia University is assessing ways in which holographic data could be transmitted online, enabling chats over the internet in which the other person appears in 3-D.
While this research continues in Columbia, the US military already uses holograms to some extent, the New York Times writes. The US Defense Department is presently drawing on Texas-based Zebra Imaging’s holographic maps which supply it with battlefield imagery, created from data that the US military provides.
Each map – which is illuminated by LEDs - costs up to $3,000 apiece and, according to Zebra itself, the same technology could also be used to assess battle damage, too. For now, holographic weapons remain undeveloped, but as this aspect of US military hologram use expands, Armed Forces International will present further News coverage.
Image used is representative only