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Cloaking device: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010
(Redirected to Chameleon circuit article)

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

The Rani's TARDIS in the form of a translucent pyramid (DW: Time and the Rani)
The chameleon circuit enables the outer plasmic shell of a TARDIS to assume any shape, in order to blend in with its surroundings.


General uses

A TARDIS with a functioning chameleon circuit can appear as almost anything, if its owner desires. The owner can programme the circuit to make it assume a specific shape or else the TARDIS itself can decide what form to take. The chameleon circuit should make the TARDIS fit in to the natural environment of a specific destination. The perception filter also helps a TARDIS to disguise itself. (TW: Everything Changes)

The Doctor once referred to chameleon circuit of his TARDIS as a "cloaking device". The fact that he hesitated slightly before using the term "cloaking device" suggests that he was trying to think of an alternative to "chameleon circuit". (DW: Doctor Who)

Specific TARDISes

The Doctor's TARDIS


The chameleon circuit of the Doctor's TARDIS, however, has rarely worked properly since the First Doctor made a sudden departure from Totter's Lane, Shoreditch, 1963, and has usually remained in the shape of a London police box. (DW: An Unearthly Child)

The Doctor hoped to repair it in Logopolis by using Block Transfer Computations when the Master interfered with the Logopolitans' calculations. (DW: Logopolis) He succeeded in repairing it for a brief period when he returned to Totter's Lane in 1986, but after it began to transform into shapes that still refused to blend into their surroundings - and on some occasions even made it hard to figure out how he was meant to enter his ship in the first place - he reverted it back to its usual police box form. (DW: Attack of the Cybermen)

During his seventh incarnation, the Doctor briefly enabled his ship to work again (NA: Conundrum), but reset it back to a police box after Mortimus hacked into the circuit and nearly gave away its location by turning it into something else. (NA: No Future)

After Donna Noble reported her encounter with Rose Tyler to the Doctor, he began noticing that the words "Bad Wolf" had begun to appear everywhere, including replacing the traditional police box lettering on his TARDIS. These words were also visible from the interior of the TARDIS over the doorway. It is likely the chameleon circuit was somehow activated in order to make this change. (DW: Turn Left)

Later, when Donna briefly had a Time Lord consciousness, she began to tell the Doctor how to repair the circuit, but her brain began to overload before she could complete the instructions while stating "Binary" in a recurative fashion. (DW: Journey's End)

However, the Doctor in recent incarnations has shown no particular interest in repairing the circuit, with the ninth incarnation more or less telling Rose that he likes its appearance. (DW: Boom Town) When the Master took possession of the TARDIS for an extended period of time, he also declined to fix the chameleon circuit (although the fact that he was incapable of travelling anywhere but to two locations may have meant that he simply saw no point in it). (DW: The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords)

The upcoming Series 5 sees a total redesign of the TARDIS interior, along with noticeable changes to the exterior, though the general shape remains the same, the colouring and size is slightly different and the St. John's Ambulance logo, that appeared on the police box during the First Doctor era, is to be restored. Despite the show's production making minor aesthetic changes to the TARDIS exterior throughout it's run without ever needing to explain it, the changes are set to be explained in this series. The previous episode saw an explosive regeneration that clearly destroys much of the TARDIS interior and exterior, and leaked script excerpts for the first episode reveals that, having repaired the damage to the TARDIS interior, The Doctor fixes the chameleon circuit and flies the TARDIS to Totter's Lane in 1963, the setting of the first episode where the circuit was first seen to get stuck, and break it himself, but the disguise is imperfect leading to a slightly different appearance than previously.

The Monk's TARDIS

The Monk's TARDIS appeared as a sarcophagus in an English church of 1066, (DW: The Time Meddler), a large stone on Tigus, and a stone block in Ancient Egypt. The Doctor caused it to appear as an Ionic column, a stage coach, a tree, an igloo, a rocket, and a bi-plane before impishly setting it as a police box to distract the Daleks. (DW: The Daleks' Master Plan)

In 1976 London it assumed the form of a wooden desk. (NA: No Future)

The Master's TARDIS


Behind the Scenes

Fanon has suggested that when the Doctor "borrowed" his TARDIS from Gallifrey, it was in for repairs, and one of the broken systems was the chameleon circuit.

The real world reason for the malfunction is thought to be of a far more practical nature: the Chameleon Circuit was intended to allow the TARDIS to blend with its surroundings during the 'historical' episodes which would require an expensive redress of the TARDIS prop for every episode. Others have suggested that the shape was initially selected to provide something that the present audiences would instantly recognise.

The Trock band "Chameleon Circuit" are named after this TARDIS component.

This article uses material from the "Chameleon circuit" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 02, 2010

Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek content.

A cloaking device was a technology utilized by numerous species to render ships, stations, equipment, personal and even planets invisible to the naked eye and/or sensors.



Cloaking devices were most commonly employed on starships, often for purposes of subterfuge, allowing a vessel to move unhindered by unaware opposition. However, cloaking devices were also been used for various other purposes to make best use of the technology.

The power consumption of cloaking devices was often seen as a limiting factor, making even cloaking small starships difficult, however, with the correct technical expertise it was possible to cloak much larger objects. The planet Aldea was equipped with a cloaking device capable of making the entire planet invisible, though it did have the unfortunate side effect of damaging the planet's ozone layer, resulting in widespread radiation poisoning from the Aldean sun's ultraviolet rays, resulting in the Aldean race become sterile. (TNG episode: "When the Bough Breaks")

Large scale cloaking was also used by the Sphere Builders to hide their spheres in the Delphic Expanse. (ENT episodes: "Anomaly", "Exile")

A cloaked Romulan minefield

Cloaking was also used at smaller scales. The Federation and Romulan Star Empire both utilized cloaking mines. (ENT episode: "Minefield"; DS9 episode: "Call to Arms")

Personal cloaking devices were also been used by both states, in isolation suits by the Federation and cloaking bands by the Romulans. (DS9 novel: Lesser Evil; TNG video game: Away Team)

The process of deactivating the cloaking device and become visible was known as "de-cloaking." (TNG episode: "Timescape")


Cloaking technology existed in the galaxy for some time, however in the affairs of the major Alpha and Beta Quadrant powers the technology only started to come into use in the 22nd century.

The 22nd century

Humans first encountered cloaking technology in confrontations with the Suliban Cabal who used the technology on their cell ships and stealth cruisers. After their initial encounters, the Enterprise (NX-01) was fitted with Quantum beacons (provided by temporal agent Daniels) capable of penetrating Suliban cloaks. (ENT episode: "Shockwave", et al.)

The Enterprise encountered three other species who employed stealth technology (analogous to cloaking technology): The Xyrillians, who used it to hide out of fear rather than for great tactical advantage (ENT episode: "Unexpected"), the Sphere Builders, and the Romulans.

The Sphere Builders were an extra-dimensional race who used cloaking fields to hide their space transforming spheres in the Delphic Expanse. The spheres had been placed in the expanse approximately a thousand years ago and the Sphere Builders had temporal technologies so the origins of this particular type of cloak are as mysterious as those of the Suliban. (ENT episodes: "Anomaly", "Exile")

The Romulan's first, short lived, cloaking starship

In 2152 the Enterprise stumbled into a cloaked Romulan mine field. By using the quantum beacons they could successfully detect the mines but not the two Birds-of-Prey in the area. This encounter was a one off though, Romulan stealth technology was still very much in its infancy, the cloaked mines were considered a relative success but the power requirements for cloaking a whole ship were problematic; sometime after the encounter with the Enterprise, the prototype cloaking ship Praetor Pontilus was destroyed in an antimatter containment failure caused by its stealth systems. It would be decades until a successful system could be developed. (ENT episode: "Minefield"; ENT novel: The Good That Men Do)

An arms race

The Romulans finally developed a successful cloaking system by 2266, which they tested on a next generation Bird-of-Prey, that they dubbed a ghost ship, in raids against Federation outposts along the neutral zone. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror"; TOS comic: "Alien Spotlight: Romulans")

The new Romulan cloak used so much power it precluded the use of weaponry and warp drive and the USS Enterprise was able to track it. However it could still be considered a success and the Romulans quickly advanced the design to make its use more practical. (TOS episode: "Balance of Terror")

While the Romulans were developing their new device Klingon agents became aware of it and the Klingon operative Korlat was sent to begin talks with the Romulans to make an alliance between the two powers, with the Klingons hoping to gain access to the technology in the process. The alliance was agreed upon by the power-hungry new praetor, though other parts of the Romulan government saw other advantages in the alliance, such as "containing" the Cardassians. (TOS comic: "Alien Spotlight: Romulans"; DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time)

As they hoped the Klingons did receive cloaking technology in the alliance, while the Romulans were given Klingon starships. (TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident"; et al.)

With two enemy states using cloaking technology, the Federation was keen to find ways to detect cloaked vessels to the extent that they even stole a Romulan cloaking devise from a Romulan battlecruiser in 2268. (TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident")

Cloaked Klingon ship firing torpedo

Over the next few decades the Federation learned to detect sensor blips associated with cloaks; in return, cloaking technology advanced. In 2293 the Klingons successfully modified a Bird-of-Prey to be able to fire weapons while cloaked. Captain Kirk and his crew eventually defeated this vessel by using a specially modified torpedo which tracked the ships plasma exhausts. (TOS movie: The Undiscovered Country)

For a significant period of time Dr Scott Heisenberg was credited for single handedly refining Starfleet's sensors to detect Romulan cloaking devices. However this period came to an end when the Romulans retreated behind their borders following the Tomed Incident. (TLE novel: Catalyst of Sorrows)

By the 24th century cloak detection was becoming commonplace; Federation borders used gravimetric sensor nets and interphase scanners. The Romulans countered this by improving their interphase generators. In 2368 the USS Enterprise-D's chief engineer Geordi La Forge developed a more advanced technique, the tachyon detection grid, using tachyon beams transmitted between different locations to expose cloaked vessels. (TNG episode: "Redemption")

The Dominion and Cardassians used antiproton beams to located cloaked ships. (DS9 episode: "Defiant")

By 2379, the latest iteration of the cloak had overcome all these problems. The Warbird Scimitar's cloak did not give off any tachyon emissions or residual antiprotons, making it undetectable. In addition, the Scimitar could maintain shields and fire through its cloak. The Scimitar was only stopped by the heroic efforts of the USS Enterprise-E's crew, in particular Commander Data, who sacrificed himself to destroy the Warbird. (TNG movie: Star Trek Nemesis)

Later development

In an alternate future created by the formation of the Red wormhole (which started the War of the Prophets), by 2400 the Romulan Star Empire had developed a more advanced effective cloak known as a transmorphic cloaking device, which used biogenic components obtained from Grigari technology. These transmorphic cloaks made the ships virtually undetectable. This future timeline was erased by the crew of the USS Defiant. (DS9 novel: The War of the Prophets)

The novel does not specify how transmorphic cloaks differed functionally from standard cloaking devices.

The Federation and cloaking technology

Under the Treaty of Algeron, the Federation was banned from using cloaking technology without the explicit permission of the Romulans. However, before and throughout the 24th century, the Federation was active in the development of cloaking technology but did not implement it in the fleet. (TNG novel: Resistance)

The Federation also secretly developed an interphase cloaking device in 2358. However, the test ship for the device, the USS Pegasus, was lost. The Pegasus was rediscovered in an asteroid field in 2370, where the USS Enterprise-D recovered and used the interphase cloak before making its existence known to a Romulan Warbird in the vicinity. (TNG episode: "The Pegasus")

The Federation occasionally circumvented the Treaty of Algeron by enlisting the aid of cloak-enabled Klingon ships in certain operations. (TNG episodes: "The Defector", "Unification")

Both incarnations of the Defiant-class USS Defiant were fitted with Romulan cloaking devices, under special arrangement with the Romulans that the cloak only be used in the Gamma Quadrant, and that Starfleet share all intelligence thus gathered with the Romulans. Such restrictions, however, did not prevent occasional unauthorized use of the cloak by Defiant commanders Benjamin Sisko and Elias Vaughn. (DS9 episode: "The Search"; DS9 novel: Twilight, et al.)

Following the Dominion War the Romulan Senate moved to allow the Defiant to keep the cloak, recognizing the importance of the vessel, and DS9, as the first line of defense against further Dominion attacks. (DS9 novel: Avatar)

A damaged Isolation suit decloaking

In 2375, a cloaked Federation holoship was discovered on planet Ba'ku, though this vessel was initially utilized by Section 31, who frequently bypassed legality in favor of their goals. (TNG movie: Insurrection; DS9 novel: Abyss)

The Ba'ku duck-blind mission also made use of small scale cloaks in isolation suits. (TNG movie: Insurrection; DS9 novel: Lesser Evil)

The use cloaks in isolation suits may suggest the Treaty of Algernon cloaking ban only applies to larger scale employment on starships and facilities.

In 2380, the USS Titan deployed a cloak on a shuttle during operations undertaken at the behest of the Romulan government. (TTN novel: Taking Wing)

Throughout the 2370s, the Federation encrypted the means of cloaking in the computers of all new starships so that it would be available to Federation vessel in cases of extreme need, although the data could only be accessed with the access codes of an admiral. In 2380, the USS Enterprise-E was authorised by Admiral Kathryn Janeway to use this data to cloak the ship for a sneak attack on a Borg cube.

At the time the Federation was also reconsidering its relationship with the then-shattered and unstable Romulan Empire and the restrictions of the Treaty of Algeron. (TNG novel: Resistance)

In the Delta Quadrant

In her time in the Delta Quadrant, the USS Voyager encountered relatively few species with cloaking technology. Delta Quadrant species know to use cloaking technology include the Ba'Neth and the Hierarchy. (VOY episodes: "Riddles", "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy", et al.)

The Voth and Srivani made use of interphase cloaking devices. (VOY episodes: "Distant Origin", "Scientific Method")

It is also worthy of note that the Borg, in their thousands of years of existence and many recorded encounters with cloak capable species, must have at some point assimilated cloaking technology. Though to date they have not been depicted using the technology.

In the mirror universe

ISS Enterprise cloaking

In the mirror universe cloaks were also used by the Suliban in the 22nd century. The ISS Enterprise (NX-01) used a Suliban cloaking devise from a captured cell ship to enter Tholian space in 2155. The Enterprise was able to use weapons through the cloak. (ENT episode: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

In the 23rd century the Klingons, like their regular universe counterparts, developed a cloak which could be fired through. They planned to use a fleet of these vessels to attack the Terran Empire. However, the fleet in construction was destroyed when Praxis exploded. (TOS novel: The Sorrows of Empire)

The Klingon-Cardassian Alliance of the 24th century also had cloaking technology used on number of ships. However, in 2375 the Alliance kidnapped the regular universe Grand Nagus Zek to blackmail Quark into stealing a Klingon cloaking devise from a regular universe vessel. (DS9 episode: "The Emperor's New Cloak")

This was either a slightly different mirror universe (several variations of the mirror universe have been established) or just as in the regular universe cloaks and sensors had advanced to a point where a new type of cloak was required.

Variations on cloaking technology

Interphase cloaks

See main article: Interphase cloaking device.
Decloaking Enterprise-D

Along side the development of standard cloaks all three of the major powers experimented in the development of interphasic cloaks. An interphasic cloak will not just make the target invisible but also capable of passing through solid materials. The Federation was successful in developing the technology in 2358 though that fact was unknown to them for some time when the test ship for the device the USS Pegasus was lost. The Pegasus was rediscovered in an asteroid field in 2370 where the Enterprise-D recovered and used the interphase cloak before making its existence known to a Romulan Warbird in the vicinity. (TNG episode: "The Pegasus")

The Klingons also tried and failed to develop their own phase cloak, as did the Romulans. The Klingons abandoned their attempts while the Romulans' initially failed. By 2376, the Romulans had succeeded and implemented phase cloaks in Tal Shiar Shadow-class vessels. (TNG episode: "The Next Phase"; TNG video game: Armada)

Dark Matter cloaks

A new form of cloaking technology was developed by the Romulan Star Empire in 2356 with the aid of the rogue Shepherd Ambassador Lhiau. This form of cloak was undetectable by normal means and was capable of firing when cloaked. This was available to at least thirteen Romulan warbirds which were interfaced with advanced Shepherd technology. There were numerous complications with this form of cloaking as it produced a mutated strain of Dark matter that infected the crew causing madness as well as death. (VOY novel: Cloak and Dagger) This brought about an end to this program which was discontinued considering the dangers of dark matter. (VOY novel: Shadow of Heaven)

Transmorphic cloaks

A new form of cloaking was created by the New Romulan Star Empire in the alternate future produced by the War of the Prophets. This technology was virtually undetectable by its enemies but was only possible through the addition of Grigari organic components. (DS9 novel: The War of the Prophets)

Tantalus mask

The Tantalus mask was another form of cloaking technology used by the First Federation which was undetectable by gravimetric distortions or radiation making it superior to the standard cloak. (TOS novel: Preserver)

Users of cloaking technology


External links

This article uses material from the "Cloaking device" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 08, 2010
(Redirected to Active Camouflage article)

From Halopedia, the Halo Wiki

(34 votes)
Were you also looking for Camouflage,or the Covenant equivalent Cloaking, used in Halo 3?
Active Camo in Halo: Combat Evolved multiplayer.

The term Active Camouflage (often shortened to Active Camo) refers to the Covenant-developed light-bending energy that is generally stored in small, deliberately fragile containers. In Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, it is stored in a small, glass-like pyramid; in Halo 3 it is suspended in a spherical force-field. A person can use the light-bending energy by merely coming into physical contact with the container, which will cause it to break and release its contents. Upon release, the energy envelops the wearer and bends light around their skin, armor, or shielding, conforming to their form and rendering them almost invisible. At that point, the energy will gradually dissipate and wear off, slowly revealing its user.

The effect lasts only for a limited time, and only prevents visual detection; those using Active Camo can be detected through other means, including motion trackers, any noises they make, and any changes to the environment that result from their movement (things like footprints on soft terrain).

Being a Covenant device, Active Camo is most commonly used by Special Operations Elites, Stealth Elites, and Brute Stalkers. However, all varieties of MJOLNIR armor after and including the Mark V can also use the technology.



A Spartan using active camouflage.

Active Camo will easily cloak its user, but its effect does not completely extend to items in the user's possession; Human weapons are easily cloaked, but Covenant weapons are visible even with Active Camo, as the light-bending energy cannot mask the glow of the weapons' plasma. In Halo, however, plasma glow is hidden quite well by the powerup.

Though Active Camouflage is quite effective from a distance, it can faintly be seen if an observer is close enough to the wearer. However, it is difficult to spot a camouflaged opponent from a distance using a scoped weapon -- actual physical proximity is required to reliably spot a person using Active Camo. It should be noted, though, that Active Camouflage does not mask environmental effects such as footprints, meaning that it is not as effective on soft terrain (such as the snow found in Halo 3's Snowbound and Avalanche Multiplayer maps).

The shielding provided by Active Camo can be disrupted if projectiles pass through it; such a disruption weakens the invisibility effect and temporarily reveals the wearer. The powerup can be disrupted if the wearer fires shots or if the wearer is hit. It also progressively worsens: the longer the wearer fires (or is hit), the more visible they become. Once the disruptions end, however, the wearer quickly regains their invisibility.


The Active Camouflage in Halo 2.

Technically, Active Camouflage is not quite invisibility, though it is very similar. Rather, it is the term that is used to describe a broad range of technologies that allows a wearer or object to blend in with its terrain, mimicking the environment around it perfectly, though in two dimensions. There are a variety of ways to do this, though the UNSC uses photo-reactive panels on its Semi-Powered Armor and Prowler warships for optical camouflage, adapting to account for movement.

Though it has never been elaborated on in detail, it is suspected that Covenant versions of the concept use phased array optics to project a three-dimensional hologram of background scenery around the wearer of the system, effectively bending light, a task well within the Covenant's tier two technology level. The technology can be utilized on Human armor systems, such as the MJOLNIR armor, but the UNSC has only developed a rough equivalent, the Camouflage Cloak.[1]

Talc powder and other atmospheric particles can disrupt the systems, causing the technology to overload and fail. [2] The device also generates a considerable amount of heat, causing its user to be clearly visible on Human thermal goggles and some variations of the Sniper Rifle. [3] The humans of Alpha Base on Installation 04 used this advantage when their base was infiltrated by stealth Elites, equipping their Fire Teams with infrared goggles allowing them to easily see the attackers. In addition, William and Kelly employed smoke in order to overload the camouflage on Reach in order to find them[4], though this appears to have been altered in the games.

Issues with Other Items

Active Camo is rendered useless by the Overshield powerup -- if the Overshield is picked up after the camouflage, it still masks the wearer, but the glow surrounding him (which is provided by the Overshield) is not hidden. In addition, if the Active Camouflage is picked up after the Overshield, the camouflage will be discontinued and fade out. The flaming-helmet side-effect of the Bungie Armor also makes Active Camo useless.

Use in Campaign

If the Active Camo is active during Campaign, you are completely invisible to the AI enemies unless you fire your weapon. Active camouflage is only usable in Campaign when you are playing as the Arbiter in Halo 2, or if you pick up Cloaking in Halo 3. It is also available as a powerup in five levels during Halo: Combat Evolved: Truth and Reconciliation, Silent Cartographer, 343 Guilty Spark, Keyes, and Assault on the Control Room.

An interesting fact about Active Camouflage is that although you can see the Sword-wielding Active Camo Elites in Halo: Combat Evolved (due to the sword), the Marines cannot see them; this is likely because the developers didn't realize that the Energy Sword showed through the Active Camo, leading them to code the Marines' AI to be oblivious to it. This advantage is removed in Halo 2 -- the Elites now wait, only activating their swords when they're about to kill you.

In Halo 3, Active Camouflage is replaced by Cloaking, a piece of Equipment that can be picked up much like the Bubble Shield or any other item; this allows a player to save the item for later instead of having to use it immediately. The user can hold on to it until it is required in a situation where he or she is drastically outnumbered. Activating the Cloaking can even the odds, or avoid contact all together. It is recommended that the user move quickly and relentlessly so that they don't waste the time that the powerup is activated for, as well as the fact they also might be spotted a lot more easily when stationary. This is also recommended in multiplayer.

Active Camouflage and Shielding

Stealth Elite using active camouflage.

An odd discrepancy is present in the difference between Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 active camouflage. In Halo: Combat Evolved, Stealth Elites using active camouflage had no shielding whatsoever; furthermore, Elites were the only Covenant enemies to possess it. However, in the last level, several Elite Flood Combat Forms that made their way into the Armory were seen with Active Camouflage generators, but these were presumably infected Stealth Elites.

In Halo 2 active camouflage was seen in use by both Elites and Grunts, during The Arbiter and part of Regret.

In "A Day At the Beach," a supposed Elite Minor is seen engaging his own active camouflage at the expense of his shields (though when the camouflage seems to be shorted out by the plasma grenade explosion his shields are reactivated). It is possible that he is an Ossoona, which would explain why such a seemingly low ranked Elite has the system, although this is not likely as Minors are not allowed to be Ossoonas due to their lack of experience -- the title is only available to Majors. [5]

It can be conjectured from this evidence that perhaps all Elites have active camouflage systems installed, but in all but the highest echelons of Elite rankings, the user's shield is deactivated to power the camouflage. Only Halo 2 era Stealth Elites, Ultra Elites, the Arbiter, and Special Operations Elites seem to have enough power in their armor to run both systems at the same time, although the Arbiter can only use active camouflage for a short while.

Halo 2 Active Camouflage

In Halo 2, it is noted that the Arbiter's armor, while possessing a built-in active camouflage generator, is not permanent, unlike the more modern generators used by Special Operations Elites. There is a circle on the player's HUD that shows the amount of time left for both the usage of the active camouflage and the recharging sequence. The Master Chief can gain this ability with the Envy Skull on Legendary only; however, his screen will lack the meter, forcing you to remember the time allowed for use.

When playing as the Arbiter, using any attack besides melee will cause the active camouflage to deactivate, and the player must wait for it to recharge before using it again.[6]

Halo 3 Active Camouflage

Main article: Cloaking
The Active Camouflage in Halo 3.

The Active Camo is no longer contained inside a pyramid construct. Instead it appears as a large, glowing sphere with what appears to be containment devices around it, enclosing the powerup in Halo 3 multiplayer; but unlike past Halo games, active camo is not found in campaign. In campaign, Active Camouflage is replaced by the Cloaking equipment, which functions in the same way as active camouflage once did. Melee attacks, shooting, throwing grenades and using equipment will negate the effect of the power-up. Also, wearing the Flaming Helmet is an obvious give-away to the opponent because the fire is still visible.

It is best to use the Shotgun and Flame Thrower or other one-hit-kill weapons with the camo.

The quality of camouflage in custom games may be set to two different settings[7]:

  • Poor Camo: The player has camouflage that might fool a Grunt.
    • The player is still somewhat visible.
  • Good Camo: The player has camouflage that will fool an attentive Elite.
    • This makes the player almost invisible, but the light is distorted within the player's shape.


The Spartan-IIIs in Ghosts of Onyx utilize their own version of Active Camouflage, using panels to impersonate the surrounding environment like a chameleon, however it is inferior to covenant active camouflage but When combined with their natural talent and training for stealth, it is a very effective tool. Some headhunters use a prototype camouflage almost identical to the covenant version, rendering them almost invisible, except that it only lasts 3-5 minutes and other systems have their power drained while it recharged. This feature was tested by ODSTs and saw very limited use in 2552.

Character compatibility

Bungie armor and Active Camouflage in Halo 3.

Note: All enemies are capable of using active camouflage in Halo 2 if the Assassins skull is active. Even enemies such as Hunters, Jackals and Flood forms are affected.


  • Changing the graphics card settings on Halo PC (lowering the quality and effects) makes active camouflage users appear as an easily-seen gray, opaque silhouette.
  • In Halo: CE, players will learn from the campaign and playing against Stealth Elites to shoot the very obvious shimmer that AC generates. It's easiest to just sit in a corner and wait for a nearby object to blur, then shoot the blur.
  • On 343 Guilty Spark, if you go right off of the fallen tree towards a small indention in the hill, you will find an Active Camouflage next to the pipeline.
  • Active Camouflage generates heat,[8] which can be taken advantage of by the use of infrared equipment by UNSC forces.
  • The Separatist Phantom in Halo 3 has its own Active Camouflage generators on board for various stealth missions.
  • Oddly enough, a group of Major and Minor Grunts in the Halo 2 level Delta Halo used Active Camouflage as they fought alongside a group of Stealth Elites. This suggests that at least some lower ranked Grunts have this equipment.
  • As stated in the Halo 2 Piggyback Official Guide, when used in association with an Overshield, the Active Camo becomes completely useless due to the charges of the overshield washing over the player's body (except in Halo: Combat Evolved). In Halo 3, the same effect occurs when Active Camouflage and Overshields are both working.
  • The Active Camouflage has no effect on the flames on the Bungie Employee flaming helmet, allowing enemies to more easily locate the user of the helmet.
  • With the Envy skull on in Halo 2, the Master Chief's flashlight will be replaced with active camouflage. This can also be combined with a glitch which allows you to reload from a checkpoint, after saving and quitting, and turning off your console, with infinite active camouflage. This makes the Campaign on Halo 2 considerably easier, even on Legendary difficulty.
  • Freelancer agent Tex (in Red vs Blue) had a special 'built in' cloaking device, much like the Arbiter's.
  • The Halo 2 Assassin's skull that is found in Regret makes all opposition invisible permanently.
  • The active camo can be seen very easily with your flashlight on.
  • In any Halo game, when you have active camouflage on and you get in a vehicle, the camouflage stays on and appears as if there was a ghost driving it or that it was driving itself (works particularly well with the Warthog LAAG). It works with any vehicle that the player is visible while driving.
  • In Halo 2 for Windows Vista, when playing on Threshold, your comrades are not picked up by radar when camouflaged.
  • The lights on a Gravity hammer can be seen clearly when camouflaged. It is not recommended to have a Gravity Hammer either as your primary weapon or secondary weapon when using active camo, as the lights make you an easy target for experienced snipers.
  • The active camouflage is only active for about 30 seconds in Matchmaking.
  • People often use Active Camouflage as a Death Trap in Forge on Foundry. They put a dumpster in a small tube-like corridor with Active Camo in front, and then put Man Cannons to push the Dumpster. A player then sees the Active Camo and as soon as they get it, the Dumpster flies out a splatters them, it says that they were killed by the Guardians.
  • In Halo 3, go in Monitor mode and find an Active Camouflage. Go inside it. After about 10-20 seconds, the Active Camo will stop making its shimmering noise and you'll hear a brief whispering sound (Like a sigh or breath), and then it will continue its shimmering noise.


  1. Halo: The Fall of Reach
  2. Halo: First Strike
  3. Halo: The Flood
  4. Halo: First Strike
  5. "Extra" cutscene included in retail version of Multiplayer Map Pack
  6. Halo 2, All levels playable as the Arbiter
  8. Halo:The Flood



This article uses material from the "Active Camouflage" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

A cloaking device was a device that had the ability to render an object invisible to the naked eye as well as from most sensors.

Kirk and Sulu spot the blurry distortion of a cloaked Bird-of-Prey



The Federation and cloaking technology

The improved Romulan cloak

Following the Treaty of Algeron in 2311, the Federation agreed not to develop cloaking technology. (TNG: "The Pegasus")

In the mid 2360s, the Captain Menchez of the IKS Bochnah loaned his ship's cloaking device to Captain Daniel of the USS Phoenix after Daniel had saved Menchez's reputation and life in the Klingon Empire. When the Phoenix was nearly destroyed in the Tiloniam system, in 2374, it was found that Menchez's cloaking device was salvageable. The device was later re-installed into the X-Project designed starship, USS Phoenix-X. (Star Trek: Phoenix-X: "The Tiloniam System", "Betrayal and Honour", "The Tilonian System", "These Aren't the Voyages...")

Quark's cloaking device

In 2383, the Phoenix-X lost its Klingon cloaking device when the ship became under attack. Following the loss, Section 31 ordered the Phoenix-X to the Mutara sector where an Interphasic cloaking device would be installed onto the ship. (Star Trek: Phoenix-X: "These Aren't the Voyages...")

In 2381 the need for a cloaking device increased with the outbreak of the Coalition War. So Starfleet developed Deflective hull plating or DHP as a replacment to a Romulan or Klingon style cloaking device. DHP was designed to be a state of the art stealth material that could completely cover a small ship. Most of the technology involved was adapted from the advance technology that had been found attached to the USS Voyager (NCC-74656) upon its return home. The thinking was that since this technology involved hull plating that deflected light from a vessel's hull would not be a violation of the Treaty of Algeron. In addition computer protocols were programed that would mask the ship's signature with the surrounding space particles. Starfleet first equipped and tested this technology with the USS Ares (NX-19803) in 2382. (VOY: "Endgame", Star Trek: Pioneer (STP): "The Boolran Eye, Part 1")

Improvements in cloaking technology

The interphase cloak

Interphase cloaking device
The Enterprise-D decloaking near a Romulan warbird.

The Treaty of Algeron did not stop Starfleet Intelligence from secretly and illegally developing the interphase cloaking device, a device which not only rendered a starship invisible, but also allowed it to pass through solid matter unimpeded. The device was lost in 2358 when the testbed vessel, the USS Pegasus was presumed destroyed by a warp core breach in a mutiny by members of the crew concerned about the legality of the test. In 2370, the Pegasus was found not to have been destroyed and the existence of the illegal device was made public to the Romulans. (TNG: "The Pegasus") The device was soon handed over to the Romulan government, but was destroyed during transport by Mackenzie Calhoun, working for Intelligence. A similar device was developed again, by Section 31, 13 years later and installed onto the Phoenix-X. (Star Trek: New Frontier: "Loose Ends", Star Trek: Phoenix-X: "These Aren't the Voyages...")

The Srivani normally used phased cloaking technology to beam onto alien vessels and run scientific tests on the crew. The Srivani's medical devices were also phased. In 2383, the Phoenix-X encountered the Srivani, who ran tests on the crew until the scientists were attacked by genetically altered interphasic organisms. (Star Trek: Phoenix-X: "Fantastic Method")

Multi-adaptive shielding

While it was considered an improvement on the cloaking device by the Romulan Senate (when used in combination with a cloaking device), the Federation was not found in violation of the Treaty of Algeron for the multi-adaptive shielding, since it simply randomly and constantly changed the sensor signature so they wouldn't be targeted by Borg. However, the Romulans did not test the multi-adaptive shielding in combination with their cloaking device until 2384, with the RIS Bouteina as the Romulan testbed for this technology. (RIS Bouteina)

Ships utilizing cloaking devices


Individual ships


External links

This article uses material from the "Cloaking device" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 04, 2010

From Wookieepedia, the Star Wars wiki.

Cloaking device
Production information

Cloaking device

Usage and history
"You can't fight what you can't see."
Tyber Zann

The cloaking device was a mechanism capable of rendering a starship or an object invisible to both sensors and the naked eye.



While sensor jammers could leave a starship invisible to sensors, cloaking devices generated cloaking fields that completely absorbed all incoming sensor scans while shielding the host ship's emissions and reflected energy, thus rendering the starship invisible to both sensors and the naked eye. A single cloaking device unit towered over the average Human with a balloon-shaped computer core standing over a series of cloaking field antennas. Below lay the the power cells, which were connected to the cloaking field matrix by a series of wires.

The only sensor capable of sensing a "cloaked" vessel was the expensive and rare Crystal Gravitational Trap, which tracked the gravitational fluctuations created by a large mass in space. Thus, any cloaked vessel was unable to hide from the CGT. However, such cloaking shields also came at a disadvantage to their users because they drained a large amount of energy from the starship's power plant, and (though dependent on the size of the device) a single unit cost millions of credits.

The cloaking device's worse drawback, at least for the hibridium models, was perhaps the "double-blind" nature of the cloaking shield, which also blocked the host ship's scanners and communication systems. Crews and passengers on cloaked ships were unable to peer beyond the cloak's shroud. Since visual navigation was impossible, any other form of navigation could only be exercised by preprogramming astrogation routes. The vessel was thus effectively isolated from the rest of the galaxy. Communications, combat operations, and sensor sweeps could only occur when the cloaking field was lowered or disabled. The cloaking device did nothing to impair senses dependent on the Force, however, and trained Force users could detect even cloaked ships in battle with ease.

The "double-blind" does not appear to apply to personal cloaking devices, or to (at least) the one on GOTO's yacht.

Operational history

"They can't have disappeared. No ship that small has a cloaking device…"
Captain Lorth Needa, talking about Millennium Falcon

Cloaking devices were once fairly common, based on stygium crystals mined on the planet Aeten II in the Dreighton Nebula. However, as the crystal supply dwindled, cloaking devices followed suit, until there were none left at all.

Before the rise of the Galactic Empire, cloaking devices were virtually unknown. Around 32 BBY, Sienar Design Systems developed and built one of the first cloaking field generators for Darth Maul's Scimitar, powered by stygium crystals. Boba Fett also had one, which had been added onto Slave I by Mentis Qinx, a dockyard owner on Tatooine.

The Rogue Shadow, Galen Marek's transport, had an experimental cloaking device onboard that used stygium crystals in its operation.

Emperor Palpatine's personal Lambda-class shuttle was also rumored to be equipped with a stygium cloak. By the time of the Battle of Yavin, Aeten II's reserve of accessible crystals had been depleted, making the manufacture of new stygium-based cloaks a virtual impossibility.

Grand Admiral Martio Batch managed to create a cloak based on hibridium obtained from Garos IV, but it was inefficient and suffered from double blindness—occupants of a starship using one could no more see the rest of the galaxy than the rest of the galaxy could see them. This double blindness limited its military effectiveness.

Batch sent the Tarkin to Aeten II, where it blew up the planet, exposing thousands of previously unreachable stygium crystals for Batch to use. He recreated the old stygium technology and applied it to the Phantom TIE project, but Rebel saboteurs completely destroyed the project, and Batch was forced to flee.

A TIE Phantom activating its cloaking device.

Several weeks before the Battle of Endor, a Rebel task force led by Rogue Squadron destroyed a cloaking device project to be implemented on an Executor-class Star Dreadnought at Fondor. Wedge Antilles, piloting a captured TIE Hunter, flew into the vessel's trenches and destroyed the three cloaking relays. The resulting explosion not only destroyed the Star Dreadnought, but also the Imperial shipyard in which she was housed.

Palpatine also commissioned a second team to work on the Vorknkx Project, aiming to make improvements to the hibridium cloak under the supervision of Grand Admiral Zaarin. After Zaarin attempted to overthrow the Emperor, control of the Vorknkx Project passed to Grand Admiral Thrawn. The team successfully equipped the CR90 corvette Vorknkx with a hibridium cloak but were unable to overcome a problem which made the device unstable when entering hyperspace.

Knowing that Zaarin was obsessed with obtaining the best technology, Thrawn allowed him to capture the Vorknkx, which was destroyed when Zaarin attempted to flee into hyperspace while cloaked.

During the chaotic years of the Galactic Civil War, the gangster-turned-warlord Tyber Zann would utilize a fleet of frigates equipped with a form of cloaking device; however, they had the unfortunate side-effect of causing shields not to work. He and his lieutenant Urai Fen were also equipped with their own personal cloaking devices.

A Vengeance-class frigate engages its cloaking device in battle.

The original hibridium cloak prototype found its way to the Emperor's storehouse on Wayland, where it remained hidden until the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn used the technology in a number of creative ways, including hiding a shipload of TIE/ln starfighters and mole miners as "empty cargo" in the Battle of Sluis Van; using cloaked asteroids as a unique siege engine at Coruscant; and carefully lining up ships above and below a planetary shield (with the ones beneath the shield cloaked) so fire from the orbiting ships would appear to pass right through the shield. This tactic led to the conquest and occupation of several New Republic member worlds including Sluis Van and Ukio without the heavy damage to lives, industry, and resources sustained during most conventional planetary invasions.

After Thrawn's death, innovation in finding a use for the device focused on the Computerized Combat Predictor. Unfortunately, ten years after Thrawn's death, the Predictor still performed insufficiently to warrant further hope. The Empire Reborn used a shuttle that was equipped with a one-way cloaking device. In 14 ABY, Jedi Padawan Jaden Korr went to Yalara on a mission of destroying the planet's cloaking device, to prevent the Imperial Remnant from laying hands on it.

However, the clone Grodin Tierce, who had been created with some of Thrawn's own thought processes, found a new use for the cloaking device, hiding three Star Destroyers in the outskirts of the Bothawui system, guiding them in by use of a comet that barely grazed the cloaking field.

Behind the scenes

In Star Wars Battlefront II the Bothan Spies for the Rebels have an ability called Stealth. This is a one way cloaking shield. The one way part may be due to game mechanics.


  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • Star Wars: Darth Maul
  • Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization (Mentioned only)
  • Starfighter: Crossbones
  • Boba Fett: A New Threat
  • Jedi Trial
  • The Last of the Jedi: Dark Warning
  • Coruscant Nights I: Jedi Twilight (Mentioned only)
  • Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire
  • Star Wars Rebellion 10: The Ahakista Gambit, Part 5
  • Star Wars: Empire at War: Forces of Corruption
  • Lando Calrissian: Idiot's Array (Mentioned only)
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (First mentioned)
  • Star Wars: TIE Fighter
  • Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
  • Heir to the Empire (First appearance)
  • Dark Force Rising (Mentioned only)
  • The Last Command
  • Specter of the Past
  • Vision of the Future
  • The Final Prophecy
  • Tempest
  • Star Wars Battlefront II
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed novel
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed comic
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed video game


See also

External links

  •  "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cloaking Devices" - "Continuity, Criticisms, and Captain Panaka", Daniel Wallace's Blog

This article uses material from the "Cloaking device" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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