Now you see me, now you don’t – reducing visual and infrared detection of soldiers and their vehicles (W7714-196962/003/A)

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Tender Notice


Publishing status


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2019/09/12 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
Notice type
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Trade agreement
  • Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)
Tendering procedure
Conditional Canadian content
Procurement entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada
End user entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada

Contact Information

Contact name
L'équipe IDEeS du TPSGC / PWGSC IDEaS team
Contact email
Contact address
10 rue Wellington
Gatineau  QC
K1A 0H4

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September 9, 2019

Attachment 3 has been added. The document contains questions and answers related to the Challenge.

August 1, 2019

The closing date for this Challenge has been extended to September 12, 2019 at 14:00 EDT.

July 12, 2019

We have made changes and improvements since Calls 001 and 002, so please read all documents prior to submission.


This Challenge notice is issued under the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program Call for Proposals (CFP) Call 003 (W7714-196962).

Please refer to the main solicitation documents which contain the process for submitting a proposal.


Step 1: Read the Challenge notice in its entirety.

Step 2: Read the Call for Proposals (CFP) and any associated attachments.

Step 3: Download and complete Attachment 1 – Electronic Proposal Submission Form, found below. Attachment 2 contains instructions on how to download and open the form.

Step 4: Follow the submission instructions listed in Part 2 – Bidder Instructions of the CFP. Please allow sufficient time to register and submit the completed form before the Challenge closing date.


Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

The individual maximum contract funding available under Competitive Projects - Component 1a is up to $200,000 CAD (excluding applicable taxes) for a maximum performance period of up to 6 months.

This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to contract for the total approximate funding.


Challenge Title

Now you see me, now you don’t – reducing visual and infrared detection of soldiers and their vehicles

Challenge Statement

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) are looking for solutions for actively modifying the visual and infrared signatures of Army platforms in order to decrease detectability in changing environmental conditions and operational environments.

Background and Context

Being able to operate covertly offers a prime tactical advantage for Army. When platforms (i.e., soldiers and vehicles) have the ability to conceal their presence, they are more likely to detect threats before being detected themselves. Thus, masking the elements that make soldiers and vehicles stand out is critical to survivability. While signature management can be divided into several categories, the focus of this challenge is on the concealment and camouflage of platforms for visual and infrared (e.g., thermal) spectrums.

One approach in signature management is to print textiles (e.g. for Army uniforms and to coat or cover vehicles and other equipment) with a visual and near-infrared reflective pattern to mimic as much as possible the average background pattern of the environment(s) in which they are likely to be deployed. At present, combat uniform prints do not include any thermal infrared signature management schemes. Among the options that do exist, there are several notable challenges and limitations that need to be overcome. For instance, visual prints tend to under-perform in the upper spectrum of the near-Infrared spectral band (1350 nm and above); the addition of a low emissivity (low E) and/or thermal convective layer materials that mimic the average temperature of background features must be put over the current combat uniform. The current difficulty with this approach is to combine the right mixture of low-E and/or convective materials to blend with the environment. Vehicles and other equipment add-on camouflage may be bulky, fragile and manpower intensive. By its very nature, signature management needs to account for different mission contexts and constantly shifting environmental conditions. The most significant challenge with effective concealment is providing a single solution that is optimized for a wide range of environments. To date, it has not been possible to implement a single camouflage scheme that is equally effective in all conditions due to the highly varied and ever changing conditions (e.g. lighting conditions, composition of the background, ground and air temperature, etc.). An ideal solution is one that adapts to different mission contexts and environmental conditions.

There is a particular and added challenge when designing effective camouflage materials that provide thermal-infrared concealment. For soldiers, camouflage solutions need to achieve the right balance between visual and infrared concealment and an acceptable level of physiological comfort. For vehicles and other equipment, thermal-infrared concealment must provide infrared signature suppression without creating a detrimental effect on the performance of the equipment, power generation, heating, ventilation and cooling systems.

The pace of development of sensor technologies and proliferation of high performance, low cost sensors in the military and public domains are currently outpacing the performance of signature management systems. This presents a significant challenge for providing effective concealment and camouflage systems that will maintain the tactical advantage for our Forces.

Desired Outcomes

Research, design concepts and technologies are sought that address, but are not limited to, the following characteristics associated with concealment and camouflage:

  • Innovation in dyes and textiles will allow the extension of our camouflage specification and extend concealment into the shortwave infrared spectrum;
  • Innovation in dyes and textiles technology to permit spectral signature matching;
  • An integrated uniform design that provides thermal camouflage that is both durable (e.g., washable) and provides an acceptable level of the thermal comfort for the user;
  • Effective concealment of combat soldiers and vehicles against the next generation of threat sensors, including but not limited to multi-spectral and hyperspectral imaging;
  • An optimized signature management solution for a wide range of operating environments, threat sensors and changing conditions (e.g., time of day, weather, season);
  • Signature management technology that can actively adapt to environmental conditions in the visual spectrum and/or the near-infrared and thermal spectrums;
  • Flexible and reliable devices and materials that permit spectrum changes with a prolonged operational life (e.g., months to years) that is effective in the visual and Near-infrared band;
  • Performance metrics for the characterisation of adaptive and multi-spectral concealment and camouflage benefits (e.g. thermal comfort, spectral signature matching, adaptation and effectiveness, reference environments).


All Challenge-related enquiries must be submitted in writing to:

Enquiries must be submitted no later than 10 calendar days before the Challenge notice closing date. Enquiries received after that time may not be answered.

For more information about the IDEaS program, Bidders can visit the IDEaS website.

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FileAmendment numberLanguageUnique Download Event (English page)Date added
attachment_1_electronic_proposal_submission_form.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2019-07-12
piece_jointe_1_formulaire_electronique_de_presentation_de_la_proposition.pdfNot availableFrench- 2019-07-12
piece_jointe_2_renseignements_importants_-_attachment_2_important_information.pdfNot availableBilingual- 2019-07-15
piece_jointe_3_questions_et_reponses_-_attachment_3_questions_and_answers.pdfNot availableBilingual- 2019-09-09