I have, in conjunction with a business partner, been developing a commercial military grade thermal shelter tarp: The M.V.T. SHIELD . This has been a developing concept since writing about out the ‘thermal poncho’ concept on this blog and in Patriot Dawn/Contact.
The product is in final development phase and I hope to have it up for sale over the next few weeks.
We are moving away from the ‘thermal poncho’ name that I have used before due to confusion with people thinking it is designed to be worn like a poncho, when in fact it is designed to be strung up like a shelter tarp, taking advantage of the air gap between the person underneath and the thermal shield properties of the tarp to defeat FLIR.
The M.V.T. SHIELD will be available in a few weeks and will have duel purposes as a thermal shield, a conventional shelter tarp, and will be in a camouflage material. It is based on a high quality nylon tarp design rather than the poly-pro cheap & nasty versions, so it will fold up just like a military ‘poncho’ shelter or equivalent nylon tarp.
Uses: rain shelter, thermal shield, emergency thermal blanket, primarily designed as static shelter but can be flung over you in an emergency.
We have taken the decision to sell a basic camouflage tarp design and allow customers to customize it with any additional ghillie material as they wish. The initial product will be available in the standard U.S. woodland BDU pattern and as we move forward we intend to offer other camouflage patterns, such as arid/desert.
The photos below are not of the actual product, but show how such a shelter should be deployed. The photo shows versions of nylon military style tarps that are being deployed as rain shelters. The thermal shelter will have the same qualities, and will be deployed in the same way, with the addition of a thermally protected layer, providing full shelter from FLIR surveillance.
Update 6/10: Its important to me that I make it clear to you that it is very important to me that this will WORK for the customer and that you deploy and use it correctly for maximum survivability. Testing has been ongoing. There are two aspects to bear in mind with the use of the M.V.T. SHIELD:
1) Thermal shielding. As of now, testing has shown that the M.V.T. SHIELD will block 100% of heat transmission through the tarp, so long as you keep the air gap as designed between your body and the tarp itself. Note that use of a single emergency blanket, of the type that come folded up, was shown in early testing to cut down the image but it will not stop heat transmission. Heat appears as a non-specific bloom across the fabric of the tarp, as viewed by a thermal imager. With the M.V. T. SHIELD deployed above you, there will be no thermal signature due to the effectiveness of the thermal blocking layer.
2) Deployment. A Thermal blocking tarp is not a silver bullet. We are aiming to aid camouflage and concealment in the visual spectrum by use of camouflage material. You also need to give thought to visual camouflage in the thermal spectrum. Man-made objects, such as a tarp, have specific shapes. If you lay a tarp out, it will have a rectangular shape through TI that is visually distinguishable from surrounding objects. Objects have different qualities under TI and that can allow them to be made out with the contrast under TI viewing. In the same way that you can see trees and all that through TI. That is why I refer to utilizing terrain and canopy masking to camouflage the man-made shape of the thermal tarp. You may block heat but still be seen by shape.
Therefore you can achieve such a thermal camouflage effect in the same way that you achieve a visual effect. We have decided to leave off the ghillie style top covering to allow users to customize as they wish to their situation. For the absolute best camouflage from visual shape, you should use a mix of terrain/canopy screening and also you can lay camouflage over the top of the tarp. This can be leaves/branches and also something you make to break up the shape of the tarp, such as camouflage netting or a gillie style layer. This is up to you to customize your camouflage to your environment. If you place something above or over the tarp, you will break up its shape, just as you do in the visual spectrum. In the TI spectrum it is all about shape contrast, not at all about the camouflage color of the tarp, which cannot be seen under TI.
For those of you who have read Patriot Dawn
, you will know that having one of these is essential to avoid death from above by Regime thermal assets such as drones and attack helicopters.
Comparison to the USMC shelter tarp:
The M.V.T. SHIELD
is 6′ x 8′, which is 72″ x 96″.
The USMC tarp is approximately 80″ x 90″.
The M.V.T. SHIELD is also camo on both sides, unlike the USMC tarp which is camo one side, brown on the underside, with no thermal shielding capability.
The M.V.T. SHIELD has all the standard properties of the USMC tarp:
“The USMC Military Field Tarp, or Military Wet Weather Tarp, is a camouflaged protective tarp designed to provide the USMC with a lightweight, waterproof covering which will also function as a ground cloth, survival shelter, sunshade, gear cover, emergency litter or overnight shelter against the weather”
In addition the M.V.T. SHIELD will also operate as a protective shelter from FLIR surveillance; its most important capability although likely to be held in reserve until necessary. In the meantime, you can utilize the M.V.T. SHIELD as per a shelter tarp.
USMC Shelter Tarp