It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Before the introduction of infra-red devices, bombs in Iraq were usually set off by an electronic remote control signal found in a mobile telephone, car locking device, garage door opener or even a child's toy.
They could be blocked by electronic countermeasures developed by the Army in Northern Ireland.
These are powerless, however, against infra-red beams, which can be modified from burglar alarm systems. Military commanders have briefed soldiers to be more cautious and avoid rushing into potential attacks. Patrol routes are varied so that no pattern is set.
Infra-red beams have been used by the IRA, and by the Red Army Faction to kill Alfred Herrhausen, the chairman of the Deutsche Bank, in 1989.
"There has always been cross fertilisation of terrorist technology across the terror diaspora," said a former Army bomb disposal officer. "Infra-red is virtually impossible to jam whereas radio control and cell phone systems are jammable."
While IED attacks have increased, U.S. casualties from them have gone down. From April 2004 to April 2005, task force spokesman Dick Bridges said, the number of casualties from IED attacks had decreased 45%.
The Pentagon now has about 4,200 portable electronic jamming devices in Iraq and more are on the way, Bridges said. The military is about to test a new device at its Yuma, Ariz., proving ground that is capable of exploding bombs by sending an electrical charge through the ground.
That device, called a Joint Improvised Explosive Device Neutralizer (JIN), could be deployed to Iraq sometime this year if tests prove successful, Bridges said.
Yet a more fundamental problem may be in store for the enemy. By engaging America in a technological arms race of sorts they are playing to its strengths. The relative decline in IED effectivity suggests the enemy, while improving, has not kept up. The move to bigger bombs may temporarily restore his lost combat power, but the advent of new American countermeasures plus increasing pressure on the bombmakers, means he must improve yet again. It is far from clear whether the insurgents can stay in the battle for innovation indefinitely. The logic of asymmetric warfare suggests the enemy will at some point abandon the direct technological weapons race and find a new paradigm of attack entirely. That is essentially what they did when they abandoned the Republican Guard tank formation in favor of the roadside bomb in the first place.
One way to achieve this (and they have been perfecting their skills by attacks against Iraqi civilians) is to switch to other targets. In this way, they can find employment for weapons and skills which are no longer effective against American combat forces. The other is to invent some other surpassingly vicious method of attack; to create the successor to the IED. Whatever that new paradigm turns out to be, it will be probably be regarded as an unanswerable weapon, like the biplane bombers of the 1930s.
Originally posted by skippytjc
They only work if they can see and point at the device. This also limits the hiding of the device as part of it needs to be exposed to "see" the IR signal.
Originally posted by AceOfBase
That's not how this works.
The IR beam is like a trip wire that sets off the explosives when the troops drive through and break the beam of light.
It's activated via radio or some other method before the troops get close enough to jam the signals.
Thermal Imaging is the conversion of radiated or reflected heat into real-time pictures or images. A thermal image is an analogue pictorial representation or visualisation of temperature differences.
All objects above absolute zero (-273 degrees) emit radiation, some of which is infra-red. Depending on temperature and emissivity, most objects in the world can be thermally imaged.