Definition

cloak of invisibility

Part of the Security management glossary:

 

A cloak of invisibility is a method of rendering physical objects undetectable or invisible. Researchers from the United States and England have developed a prototype for a cloaking device that can hide an object approximately 30 centimeters (1 foot ) in diameter. The device works by producing a mirage, in a manner similar to the way a layer of heated air causes reflection or refraction of light to create an illusion that can conceal objects on the earth's surface when viewed from a distance at a grazing angle.

In the microwave portion of the radio-frequency (RF) spectrum, where most radar systems operate, cloaking differs from stealth technology. A stealth aircraft evades radar detection by presenting a minimal profile for reflecting microwave electromagnetic fields. Cloaking actually diverts electromagnetic waves around the object. This can completely eliminate its image at a specific wavelength. At visible-light wavelengths, such a process may cause distortion of images directly behind the cloaked object. In an ideal visual cloaking system, such distortion would have to be minimized so evidence of the cloaking would be difficult or impossible to notice.

Cloaking technology is of interest to the military for obvious reasons. It may also have industrial and civilian applications. For example, it might be used to minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI) to sensitive medical devices or cellular telephones. Because of technical limitations, it will probably be at least several decades before a device is developed that can completely cloak a human being or other large physical object at visible-light wavelengths, particularly if that object and a would-be observer are in relative motion.

This was last updated in August 2008
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • RSA Security

    - RSA Security is a United States-based organization that creates encryption, network and computer security products. Ron Rivest Adi Shamir, and Len Adleman founded RSA as an independent company in ... (WhatIs.com)

  • air gapping

    - Air gapping is a security measure that involves removing a computer or network from any externally connected network physically and also ensuring there is also no wireless connection. The NSA TEMP... (WhatIs.com)

  • Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL)

    - The Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL) is a grade assigned to an IT product or system after completing a Common Criteria security evaluation. (SearchDataCenter.com)

Glossaries

  • Security management

    - Terms related to security management, including definitions about intrusion detection systems (IDS) and words and phrases about asset management, security policies, security monitoring, authorizati...

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About cloak of invisibilityPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.