Night vision technology is a method of enhancing or restoring one’s eyesight in low-light conditions or total darkness. Among the most popular uses of night vision technology are those for transportation (driving at night, flying airplanes at night), defense (security), and police work (surveillance). It also facilitates nighttime search-and-rescue operations and nighttime inspections. It’s also useful for those who want to go hiking after dark.
The principle underlying night vision technology is an intense source of illumination that emits infrared radiation, which is invisible to the naked eye. But a camera can see this light, and it records whatever the lens focuses on.
There have been various developments in recent years in night vision technology that have taken use of night vision technology for both routine and intelligence-related tasks. For instance, thermal imaging and image intensification are being used together as part of the newest trend in night vision technology.
Image intensification systems are meant to absorb low levels of light and magnify them into clear pictures of whatever is in their field of view, hence it is essential that the light they emit be very weak. The result is a bright, well-illuminated picture that may be used for excellent night vision.
Infrared and near-infrared radiations are undetectable to the human eye, but thermal imaging systems can detect these invisible wavelengths and use them to create lit pictures. They pick up these rays from nearby objects and transform them into a visual representation of whatever is in front of them.
Night vision equipment that uses thermal imaging is becoming more popular in the military.
A hybrid night vision/thermal imaging headgear was announced by BAE Systems in 2015. Attached to a firearm, the new google receives a live visual feed from the thermal weapon sight via Bluetooth. To improve the troops’ ability to acquire and engage targets, the unique headgear combines night vision and thermal imaging capabilities into a single device that shows the image on the goggle.
Sniper rifles, for example, have sights like rangefinders and viewfinders attached to them so that troops can aim more precisely. According to Moutushi, “wireless technology has been added to a weapon sight that previously had integration with night vision and thermal imaging goggles.”
The wireless technology is the result of a collaboration between two US Army research and development initiatives: the Family of Weapons Sights-Individual (FWS-I) program for next-generation thermal weapons sights and the ENVG-3 program for new, improved night vision goggles. At about 1.5 pounds, the FWS-I is the smallest and lightest weapon sight ever produced in the United States.
Each piece of gear slows down and limits a soldier’s agility and speed in the field in direct proportion to the extra weight added to his or her load. In the past, the soldier would have to carry a lot of extra weight since the night vision equipment they were using included bulkier parts.
A compact binocular night vision device with superior optical performance and user-friendly construction has been created by ACTinBlack. To accommodate the lightweight requirements of ground operating units, the Dual Tube Night Vision Goggle (DTNVG) was developed. The DTNVG is self-supporting when not in use, has a low profile when attached to a helmet, and provides complete depth perception regardless of the terrain. All of the binocular functions are managed by a solid-state microcontroller.