Estonian Researchers Receive First NATO Scientific Achievement Award17 September 2012
Researchers from the Department of Chemistry at the Tallinn University of Technology, along with experts from other countries, participated in a research group whose accomplishments in the area of camouflage and a protective system that adapts to its environment have been honoured with the NATO Scientific Achievement Award.
At a festive ceremony held in Norfolk in the United States on 14 September, Major General Albert Husniaux, Chief Scientist at the NATO Science and Technology Organisation, handed over three NATO Scientific Achievement Awards, the recipients of which also included Katrin Idla and Marek Strandberg, researchers from the Department of Chemistry at the Tallinn University of Technology.
Idla and Strandberg participated in a research group that studied so-called adaptive camouflage. Estonia's main contribution was the creation and testing of new materials and protective systems.
In addition to the Estonians, the working group included researchers and experts from Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, the Czech Republic, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the UK and the United States.
"To conceal and protect oneself, mere camouflage netting or dappled clothing is no longer enough. There is a need for systems that imitate their environment naturalistically and are capable of changing their appearance under various light wavelengths according to changes in the environment. By using new materials and novel algorithms, the other researchers and ourselves laid the groundwork for invisibility under various light wavelengths," Strandberg outlined the work completed.
The key function of the NATO Science and Technology Organisation is to provide the armed forces of the allied nations with scientifically reliable, innovative solutions in a variety of areas. The Ministry of Defence supports the contribution of Estonian scientists and by the Estonian Defence Forces' experts to the activities of the NATO Science and Technology Organisation.
The activities include areas requiring novel solutions such as issues related to human factors and military medicine, cyber defence, communications and control systems, materials and sensor technologies, situational awareness, knowledge-based defence planning, social media, civil-military relations, analysis of military operations and many more. For Estonia, it is important to expand the NATO co-operation network beyond the confines of military operations; co-operating on research and technology and contributing to common security knowledge is one way to do this.