Uncover the danger on your covert IR patch
Do you wear an IR patch for friendly fire protection?
Beware. Not all IR Patches are built the same. Unknowingly, you could be putting yourself and others in danger.
Even if the packaging says, “provides IFF protection,” you must do some homework to discover the quality of your IR patch.
3 Questions to Ask:
- Does your patch resists white light reflection?
- Does your patch glow up to 700m?
- Does debris or water seep in?
Understanding how an IR patch works
First, let’s review how an IR patch works.
Simplified, an IR patch reflects light off of reflective material.
A reflective material you are most familiar with is a bike reflector. A bike reflector reflects or bounces the light back to the original light source, usually a car passing by. The driver sees the light reflects off the reflector and avoids hitting the bike.
Your IR patch works much the same way, by reflecting the light back to the light source. The light originates from one of two sources. Either an IR illuminator (infrared energy) on a night vision device, or white light from a flashlight, car, moon etc… The light source operator sees the IR patch and knows you are friendly.
1. Does your patch resist white light reflection?
There are 2 types of IR reflective patches – Covert (battlefield) and Non-covert (garrison).
Danger rears its’ ugly head when your IFF patch is advertised as covert yet reflects white light.
In addition to reflecting the infrared energy from your night vision device, the patch reflects the light from a car, flashlight, or moon. This is not safe and potentially very dangerous.
Both your covert and non-covert IFF patches are built with the same reflective film. The difference is, your covert friend or foe patch has a “covert coating” to keep you hidden. A covert IFF patch should not reflect white light!
While you may think your covert patch will protect you against white light detection, it may not.
Therefore, we recommend to test your IR patches against any white light reflection.
2. Does your patch glow up to 700m?
Another potential danger is a low glow radius from your patch.
If the glow on the patch is dull and can’t be seen at a distance of 700m (with PVS-14) you are at risk.
Be sure to double check the glow radius on your IR patch with a Night Vision device before deployment.
3. Does water or debris seep into your patch?
One of the biggest complaints we hear on a regular basis is how deployed patches fall apart from water and debris seeping into the patch. In the end, after a few months the layers fall apart.
An IR patch that falls apart at the seams is of no value for friend or foe protection.
How does this happen?
This problem stems from manufacturers who take cost cutting steps in raw materials. As well as short cuts taken in testing the materials before distribution.
In addition, the covert layer, glow, and durability of the patch are not held to a quality standard of performance.
This leaves deployed soldiers at risk for life altering injuries.
Your SandStorm Technology Solution
After much research and testing, we introduced a proprietary process we call SandStorm Technology on all of our reflective patches.
This unique manufacturing process blends perfectly formed micro-prisms on one seamless layer. This layer can’t physically fall apart at the seams because no seams exist.
So even the fiercest sandstorm or rainstorm will not damage your patch.
Each patch has over 100K fitted micro-prisms providing maximum glow with no air gaps. This nearly indestructible brightness allows you to serve with confidence.
SandStorm Technology protects you against:
1. White light reflection
2. Low infrared glow
3. A weak, damaged patch
Check out our inventory of Personal ID protection. For 15 years we have built IR patches for all the US Armed Forces, FBI, Secret Service, State Agencies as well as allied nations.