Optical Camouflage is a form of active camouflage.
Description & Characteristics
The Optical Camouflage is a cloaking system that uses an external camouflage membrane that mimics the look of its surroundings to avoid visual detection; it can be viewed as a form of invisibility. The system was developed by Celestial Being (CB) and was installed into several of their Gundams, ships, and resource satellites for infiltration and stealth purposes. However, the abilities of the camouflage differ between applications.
During missions that needed a Gundam to be hidden, the optical camouflage blends the unit into its surroundings but the camouflage isn't perfect. It's only applicable when the unit is completely stationary. Should the unit move while cloaked, the optical camouflage would unveil the unit due to movement in after-images and destabilizing the illusion.
When it comes to CB's ships, the effectiveness of the cloak is reflected upon the quality of the system. With Ptolemy II, the system is only meant to avoid visual detection from visual sensors and observation satellites at long distances. Upon close range observation, the camouflage is obvious to the naked eye as the camouflage membrane creates overlapping image folds at the edges. Even if a ship is completely stationary for absolute invisibility, the cloak can be revealed if there's any interaction such as gunfire or physical impact with an object. The mothership Celestial Being had the most powerful camouflage as it's able to cover its entire asteroid body and move through space without being noticed.
For resource satellites, lessons learned between AD 2307-2312 convinced CB engineers to create a massive camouflage system to cloak large pockets of space. To prevent visual detection, the entire satellite is cloaked along with its surround space. Because the satellite is stationary, there are no over-lapping after-images. However, ships and floating debris moving in and out of the field can temporarily reveal the edge of the camouflage field. Overall, its technology played a crucial role in protecting the secrecy of CB and affected MS warfare for generations.
Notes & Trivia
Articles & References