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Night Vision Explained

Spy movies are often the first thing that comes to mind when people think about or discuss night vision technology. Do they actually work, or are they another form of moviemaking magic? In case you were wondering, the technology is very real and very effective. The standard set of night vision goggles will allow you to see a person standing 200 yards away on a cloudy, moonless night. Impressive, isnt it?

There are two different types of night vision technology. The first works on the principle of image enhancement. It works by collecting the minute amount of light contained in darkness, and amplifying it to the point where objects can be viewed. It even collects light from the lower end of the infrared light spectrum, which is generally imperceptible to the human eye.

The other way that night vision technology works is through a process known as thermal imaging. This process works by capturing the upper end of the infrared light spectrum. This part of the light spectrum is emitted in the form of heat, as opposed to light as we might recognize it. The warmer an object is the higher amount of this light is emitted.

There are some similar components in both night vision systems. Each of these systems is comprised of optics, some form of signal processing, and a viewing monitor. Image enhancement seems to be the prevailing technology contained in modern night vision systems. Both systems were developed, originally, for military use. In the United States, there are two classifications for night vision devices. The first is called MILSPEC, which refers to military specifications. The other is COMSPEC, which refers to commercial specifications.

This technology has been incorporated into a number of popular products, and put to use is many different ways. They are generally contained in three distinct categories; scopes, goggles, and cameras. Scopes are generally handheld or mounted on weapons, and are monocular. These are good for short-term viewing from a stationary position. Goggles are worn by the user and are binocular. As they are worn by the user, they are ideal for use over a longer period and during movement. Cameras are ideal for surveillance, as the images captured can be saved to a recording device or viewed on a remote monitor. This category also includes video imaging.

Night vision systems have come a long way since their early days of development. They are now used by law enforcement agencies and private investigators on a daily basis. They are also used by civilians for wildlife observation, security, surveillance, and personal entertainment. Night vision devices have become an integral part of the modern arsenal. Remember, not everything you see in the movies is make-believe.

This article was posted on November 14, 2005

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Military Night Vision Goggles For Military With Waterproof Body And Mounting Mechanism By Abigail Taylor on December 04, 2010 0

Military night vision goggles are used by the army, navy and air forces of different countries, today such equipment is also used by the application of many law enforcement and security personnel (fire).

However, people can also buy night vision goggles for personal use, but usually do not have the same specifications you will find the military versions. Because the military night vision goggles have become an expected part of modern warfare is that they allow the user to see the pictures in the dark, which may not only be seen with the naked eye. Also the military versions have a special feature where they can focus on the user sees the image of each eye separately, which means that they are able to maintain depth perception when viewing images at any time.

How night vision works:

Most of the night vision goggles consist of image intensifier tubes, a waterproof body and mounting mechanism. Work in the near infrared bands to detect environmental light of the reflection is seen. image intensifier tubes for night vision goggles then extended to a weak light, using the photoelectric effect. Tube, the photons of light in to a flap that opens up the number of electrons. These electrons are then amplified Surge more electrons. A powerful electric field to pull electrons toward the screen mesh phosphor bronze, which produces light point of electron impact. This allows the screen to phosphorus produces a bright image.

Military night-vision goggles are generally used as artificial light during the military operations, and fight night. This increases the safety of soldiers, much as they can move without detected by their instruments of enlightenment.

The military uses two main types of night vision goggles:

* Image Intensifiers
Image intensifiers work by expanding the ambient light (flashlight enemy, moonlight, starlight) so you can see, as you would in the day. But the problem is that when a very bright light source appears, your picture overwhelmed. Their advantages are low weight, price, size and detailed images they bring, but consumes little electricity.

* Infrared Lenses
Infrared lenses to convert the infrared spectrum of visible light, but retail prices, which is low. He also has difficulty distinguishing between two objects that have the same level of heat (which is a question of who is the enemy and who is a friend). In some cases, night vision goggles can use infrared to see through walls.

These particular military night vision goggles take any light immediately in the vicinity of where they are, and expanded to increase the image of thousands of times using an image amplifier. night vision goggles work of the photoelectric effect, which is due to photons collide with the indicator plate. When photons hit the metal, then produces electrons which are then supplemented by further causing more electrons can be produced that ignites the screen in front of the user eyes. In some cases, all the user needs to illuminate the entire field of vision is a star high in the sky. You will often see these devices used to report on wars and the image we often see on television, where they used to be green.

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Flir Night Vision Marine News:

flir marine | eBay – Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles …

Find great deals on eBay for flir marine and flir navigator. … FLIR MD-324 Marine Static Thermal Night Vision Camera W/ 2x e-Zoom. One-day shipping available.

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Thermal Imaging Cameras for Maritime applications – FLIR

FLIR Systems markets a full range of thermal imaging cameras for the most demanding marine applications. Read More!

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FLIR M-324XP Premium Multi-Sensor Marine Night Vision System at …

The M-Series gimbal redefines maritime multi-sensor system design, drawing on FLIR’’s 25 years of experience in building combat-proven airborne and maritime thermal …

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flir marine | eBay – Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles …

Find great deals on eBay for flir marine and flir navigator. … FLIR MD-324 Marine Static Thermal Night Vision Camera W/ 2x e-Zoom. One-day shipping available.

Original Source:

FLIR M-324XP Premium Multi-Sensor Marine Night Vision System at …

The M-Series gimbal redefines maritime multi-sensor system design, drawing on FLIR’’s 25 years of experience in building combat-proven airborne and maritime thermal …

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Amazon asked Where can I get a DC Charger for a FLIR First Mate HM-224 Handheld Maritime Thermal Night Vision Camera?

And got the following answer:

I am sure if you contact FLIR, they can supply a new DC charger for your camera if one exists. Usually the charger runs from the mains and all the marine vessels I have used have 120 v outlets.

David asked Are F/A-18’s in the Navy only have one pilot?

By that I mean do the jets only have one seat. I know that some have a navigator/weapons officer type people, but which ones do? I know that it depends on the model of the aircraft, so which one does the navy use more?
I know that there is different models, but which model is used most?

And got the following answer:

The F/A-18A is the single-seat variant and the F/A-18B is the two seat variant. The space for the two seat cockpit is provided by a relocation of avionic equipment and a 6% reduction in internal fuel; two-seat Hornets are otherwise fully combat-capable. The B model is used primarily for training.
In 1992, the original Hughes AN/APG-65 radar was replaced with the Hughes (now Raytheon) AN/APG-73, a faster and more capable radar. A model Hornets that have been upgraded to the AN/APG-73 are designated F/A-18A+.
The F/A-18C is the single-seat variant and the F/A-18D is the two seat variant. The D-model can be configured for training or as an all-weather strike craft. The “missionized” D-model’s rear seat is configured for a Weapons and Sensors Officer to assist in operating the weapons systems. The D model is primarily operated by the U.S. Marine Corps in the night attack and FAC(A) (Forward Air Controller (Airborne)) roles.[40]
The F/A-18C and D models are the result of a block upgrade in 1987[12] incorporating upgraded radar, avionics, and the capacity to carry new missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile and AGM-65 Maverick[3] and AGM-84 Harpoon air-to-surface missiles. Other upgrades include the Martin-Baker NACES (Navy Aircrew Common Ejection Seat), and a self-protection jammer. A synthetic aperture ground mapping radar enables the pilot to locate targets in poor visibility conditions. C and D models delivered since 1989 also include an improved night attack capability, consisting of the Hughes AN/AAR-50 thermal navigation pod, the Loral AN/AAS-38 NITE Hawk FLIR (forward looking infrared array) targeting pod, night vision goggles, and two full-color (previously monochrome) MFDs and a color moving map.[3]
In addition, 60 D model Hornets are configured as the night attack F/A-18D (RC) with ability for reconnaissance.[40] These could be outfitted with the ATARS electro-optical sensor package that includes a sensor pod and equipment mounted in the place of the M61 cannon.[41]
Beginning in 1992, the F404-GE-402 enhanced performance engine, providing approximately 10% more maximum static thrust became the standard Hornet engine.[42] Since 1993, the AAS-38A NITE Hawk added a designator/ranger laser, allowing it to self-mark targets. The later AAS-38B added the ability to strike targets designated by lasers from other aircraft.[43]
Production of the F/A-18C ended in 1999. In 2000, the last F/A-18D was delivered to the U.S. Marine Corps.[12]
[edit]E/F Super Hornet
Main article: F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

A VFA-11 F/A-18F Super Hornet performing evasive maneuvers during an air power demonstration above USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)
The single seat F/A-18E and two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornets carry over the name and design concept of the original F/A-18, but have been extensively redesigned. The Super Hornet has a new, 25% larger airframe, larger rectangular air intakes, more powerful GE F414 engines based on F/A-18’s F404, and upgraded avionics suite. The aircraft is currently in production and will eventually equip 22 squadrons. The EA-18G Growler is an electronic warfare version of the two-seat F/A-18F, which entered production in 2007. The Growler will replace the Navy’s EA-6B Prowler.
[edit]Other US variants
This was a proposed reconnaissance version of the F/A-18A. It included a sensor package that replaced the 20 mm cannon. The first of two prototypes flew in August 1984, however the variant was not produced.[41]
Proposed two-seat reconnaissance version for the US Marine Corps in the mid-1980s. It was to carry a radar reconnaissance pod. The system was canceled after it was unfunded in 1988. This capability was later realized on the F/A-18D(RC).[41]

X-53, NASA’s modified F/A-18.
Two-seat training version of the F/A-18A fighter, later redesignated F/A-18B.[6]
Single-seat High Alpha Research Vehicle for NASA.[44] High angles of attack using thrust vectoring, modifications to the flight controls, and forebody strakes
X-53 Active Aeroelastic Wing
A NASA F/A-18 has been modified to demonstrate the Active Aeroelastic Wing technology, and was designated X-53 in December 2006.

Eric Stanton asked Should I buy the GVS1000 Long Range IR Day Night PTZ Surveillance Camera?


I am looking to protect a Port Harbor and need to see about 1000m at night.

I was looking at the GVS1000 because its made by Bosch (Extreme CCTV) but it only does 1km distance which is a bit short as I am hoping to get at least 2km, of night vision.

The GVS1000 uses active IR but I am not sure if thermal would be better.

Is there a better solution out there or is the GVS1000 the only camera that can see these ranges at night.

If there are better solutions out there please post information and links

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Thanks for your help please post some other options that are available.
Wow thanks William, Ascendent makes some amazing products they are going to custom build me a solution with active IR and thermal, thanks for giving me exactly what I needed.


And got the following answer:


Demo Video:

Ascendent Technology Group offers Extreme Long Range Active IR, Cooled thermal imager and long range motorized zoom optics. Ascendent also offer 1024X1280 HD Cooled thermal imager with lens up to 1500mm but we usually integrate it with Active IR so you get get identification not just detection.

The Ascendent Sigma series is better then the Bosch GVS1000 for 7 main reasons.

1) Longer Range: Ascendent offer up to 8km (Bosch 1km)
2) Better illumination: Ascendent uses lasers for wider angle and better distance.)
3) Lasts longer Bosch GVS1000 2000 hours Ascendent 10,000 hours
4) Technology Bosch uses outdated LED technology Ascendent uses lasers
5) Better Pan-Tilt-Zoom GVS-1000 up to 8 degrees a second Sigma offer 90 degrees
6, Lens Options Bosch max is 1500mm Ascendent is 5000mm
7, Bosch is only active IR, Ascendent offers Active and Passive IR

Active IR vs Thermal Imaging
Active IR imaging has significant advantages over thermal imaging by producing images with up to 500% higher resolution. Active IR also has the ability to go through optically pure substances such as windshields. Since thermal relies on heat waves it works great for long range detection but does not have the ability to capture details making virtually useless for identification unlike optical systems. But thermal has greater distance and can worl in bad weather like heavy rain, snow or fog unlike optical systems.

Zoom Laser IR Diode (ZLID)
Ascendent’s ZLID laser illuminators combine laser diode technology with precision engineered optics and sophisticated electronics to provide extreme long range Active IR illumination greatly exceeding both performance and Distance over traditional IR LED illumination in application that require over 200m (650ft) of illumination. Ascendents ZLID (Zoom Laser IR Diodes) Technology (IR Laser) synchronizes IR intensity and area illumination with motorized zoom lens for outstanding active IR performance, eliminating over exposure, washout, and hot-spots for unparalleled performance at distances up to3.5km (11,500ft) and 10km classification performance at 10km in complete darkness.

The Sigma Series PTZ delivers long range day/night surveillance. Its powerful 20-3000mm motorized zoom lens can detect intruders at distances of up to 35km. The high-output, continuous-wave laser provides recognition for up to 8km and identification up to 3km. Ascendents Sigma series provides unparalleled video surveillance and situation assessment for perimeter protection and border defense.

Key Features:
3000m (9,845 ft) Identification performance Distance in complete darkness (Optional 10km)
ZLID : Zoom Laser Infrared Diode (Syncs with Zoom Lens)
Lens: 25-1500mm, 20-3000mm 1000mm-5000mm motorized Zoom Lens
1/2 EMCCD infrared tuned True Day Night camera
Dual MICF IR cut filter switch for true day night performance
Endless 360 degree, Heavy Duty Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) Positioning,
Extreme environment -45C~60C with anti corrosive coating
Optional FLIR Thermal 680×480 Or Ascendents 1024X1280 imager
Integration with AVA Video Analytics
High precision Pan-Tilt driver

Industry Leading Performance
Ascendent’s Active IR module combines laser diode technology, quality precision optics and sophisticated electronics. This creates long range active IR illumination greatly exceeding both the performance and distance of traditional IR LED illumination. The ASCLIR3000M-810 (IR Laser)
synchronizes IR intensity and area illumination with motorized zoom optics for flawless active IR imaging. This eliminates overexposure, washout and hot-spots for outstanding night time performance at great distanceSuperior Image Quality The Sigma series incorporates highly tuned 1/2 ” EMCCD imaging equipment that is optimized for long range surveillance to render superb detail rich color by day. At night or 0 lux environments the Sigma series intensifies IR light on an electron level for clean crisp monochrome images. This in tandem with its laser illuminator to capture minute details resulting in identification and prosecution of trespassing parties.

Long Range Zoom Optics
IR optimized optics for 24/7 long range surveillance up to 90,000Ft (30KM) by day and (3.2km) 10,000ft in 0lux (complete darkness) while maintaining excellent clarity. Making it the clear choice for perimeter protection, homeland security, critical infrastructure and military logistics.

Ascendent is the only company I use for Long Range Passive and Active IR.

Hope this helps