• Image via Lucasfilm.
    Image via Lucasfilm.

The future of military cloaking devices

A researcher from Boeing has taken upon himself to file a patent for a cloaking device that has the ability to protect soldiers from the shock waves caused by explosions.

This potential cloaking device would stop shock waves through a wall of heated, ionized air. This heated, ionized air would safeguard the solider by forming a protective barrier around them. The protective barrier does not directly protect them from the shockwave. Instead, it causes the shock wave to bend around them.

“We were doing a much better job of stopping shrapnel. But they were coming home with brain injuries,” Brian J. Tillotson, a researcher at Boeing said. This cloaking device would help solve the other half of the problem.

Shock waves that occur from explosions go right through peoples’ bodies and cause severe head trauma. Even if the shrapnel is nowhere near them, the force incurred by the shock wave is enough to create serious injury.

So, how does this all work? A detector spots an explosion right before the shock wave follows. A curved shaped generator, connected to a large power source, produces electricity like a lightning bolt. The curved shaped generator heats up the particles in the air, thereby effectively changing the speed of the shock waves. The bending occurs when the particles of the shock wave changes speed.

Curved shaped generators aren’t the only way to protect against shock waves. Lasers, as well as a strip of metal placed along a truck, are capable of offering this protection. Both of these things produce the same ionizing effect and bend the shockwave as it changes speed. The only issue with this is the amount of power that it would require. Reducing the amount of power needed would make this cloaking device a reality.


This advanced technology would greatly aid in protecting our soldiers from something that we have no protection for. Protecting against shock waves would limit the number of traumas from any explosion. If the military is willing to spend money on this, it stands to reason that it would save the lives of many soldiers. It would be quite interesting to see how the enemies on the other side would react to this. Would they attempt to create bigger explosions in order to produce greater shockwaves to destroy the protective barrier? Either way, if this does become a reality, warfare as we know it will not be the same.

Forecasted start year: 
2025 to 2045


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