Active Camouflage Suit

Several variations of active camouflage are available, with more currently in development. When worn, an active camouflage suit (ACS) is capable of rendering the wearer virtually invisible by bending light around them (the system functions by projecting ambient conditions of the opposing side, allowing the cloaked subject to appear transparent).

The wearer of an ACS is nearly undetectable to the naked eye and higher-grade models are invisible to electronic scanning. Initial suits were bulky, weighty, and difficult to navigate in. However, recent advancements now allow for skin-tight suits that allow for ease of movement and increased comfort. For the system to function as intended, all parts of the body must be covered, including hands and the users head, which is accomplished by wearing a unique active camouflage helmet.

Limitations to the technology still remain prevalent. Quick movement can create distortions in the stealth effect, while well-lit environments reduce the user’s transparency. Remaining motionless or moving slowly in dark surroundings offers the best results. The suits are delicate, and are highly susceptible to water damage and varying amounts of physical trauma—both capable of causing a suit to deactivate or the distortion effect to become compromised.

Special combat androids have been equipped with synthetic thermal-optic skin, which employs advanced active camouflage. This unique skin renders the android invisible for stealth missions without the necessity of a suit. [I.DAC update: As of last year, there are no known active androids equipped with this technology—the general consensus was that development of the unique synthetic skin had been deemed too costly.]

It is possible for a cyborg to also employ a similar thermal-optic skin, with fiber optical hair transplantation to avoid the use of a helmet. However, the costs and constant upkeep of cybernetic bodies would make this option financially impractical. No known cyborg has even been documented to possess a full active camouflaged prosthesis.

Previously, active camouflage suits were used only for espionage missions, but recent breakthroughs suggest that they may soon be viable in actual combat situations. New advancements in stealth technology can allow for specially coated weaponry, enabling the user to bring firearms, vehicles, and equipment into a combat engagement without risk of being seen.

Danger Zone One. Story by Midnight. Art by Salaiix.