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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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Original Source: http://www.articlecity.com/articles/gadgets_and_gizmos/article_205.shtml


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Q&A:

ben_3600 asked Whats the difference between a reflex/red dot sight and a holo(holographic) sight?

they’re listed under different catagories in some online shops
no…

a reflex/red dot sight and a laser sight are not the same thing, a reflex sight doesnt project any forward light either.

plz make sure you have yur facts straight next time

And got the following answer:

Unlike a laser or red dot sights, the holographic image projects no forward light onto the target and thus no position revealing light. The projected reticle is only visible by the operator. The operator remains completely hidden downrange even against night vision systems.

In addition there is no muzzle side reflective glare from coated lenses like on red dot sights, scopes or binoculars. The HWS does not need any costly add-on filters that also significantly reduce the effective light transmission and makes the target less visible.

kyle asked Read the first part of my personal statement? Should I add more of a conclusion?

I know, what the hell am I doing writing a personal statement in May. Well I’m actually a junior and my AP English Language teacher has assigned us the task of writing a personal statement. This took me a long fucking time to do. I don’t even know if I’m writing it correctly. Any comments or suggestions would be amazing.

Prompt #1: Describe the world you come from – for example, your family, community or school – and tell us how this world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

I watch, therefore I am. One may call it escapist; I call it definition. I delve into these false realities, but I don’t let myself be engulfed by them. I let myself be shaped by them. I have been molded and morphed into the person who I am today because of them. I am, of course, talking about my TV shows and my movies.
Ever since I apologized to my mother for keeping her up late at night while moaning and groaning due to the meningitis attacking my body, I have considered myself a fighter. Ever since I came back from a broken elbow to become one of the star pitchers on the junior varsity baseball team, I have considered myself a fighter. Some people use perspective to will them through tough times. I am one of those people. But while others look, and rightfully so, at the terrors of war zones in the Middle East to set themselves perspective, I look at Batman. Whenever I feel too overwhelmed to study for multiple tests the next day, I think to myself: ‘If Bruce Wayne can recover from a broken back and still make it to Gotham in time to save the city from a bomb, I can ace these tests.’ Whenever I feel too drained to focus in class, I think to myself: ‘If Bruce Wayne can take the blame for the crimes of a madman just so that Gotham can stay at peace and without immense criminal activity, I can take notes on this art history lecture.’ Whenever I feel too tired to finish my homework, I think to myself: ‘If Bruce Wayne can endure through the deaths of his parents and his true love and withstand as an everlasting, incorruptible symbol of hope, I can complete this calculus problem.’ It seems irrational to set a standard of excellence through fiction. Fiction can extend beyond the limits of the real world, so how can I live up to such a bar? In actuality, consider it the most sensible method. If my standards exist in a world of nonexistence, isn’t it only logical that I will reach whatever ceiling the physical world has placed upon me? Like I said, I’m a fighter.
There is one thing that I cannot beat. It’s won every battle and then some. I can deny it all I want to, but I have to just admit it at some point. I am a hopeless romantic. I always have been and I always will be. Unfortunately for me, I’ve discovered the resiliency of such a trait way too early. All of the girls that I have encountered in my span of experience are not yet there. They’re still playing with the innocence of non-commitment and that’s perfectly fine. Who am I to say it’s not. What I’m getting at is that it’s extremely difficult to deal with. I am Jay Gatsby when it comes to love. I have a vision, a hope, a dream of a playful, yet intensely connected relationship in which all of the perfections and imperfections create an extremely unique bond. Yes, that is a little much to ask at the age of 17. That’s why I’ve scared away many girls. It’s hard to keep going on this path, but I know that I am rare amongst many womanizers. So I look at the relationship of Jim and Pam from The Office for strength. In the finale of the entire series, Pam said, “Jim sat five feet away from me and it took me four years to get to him.” I know that my Pam is out there. I don’t know where she is or how long it will be before I meet her, but I know she’s out there and I know that I have to endure all of this to be able to find her. So I will keep fighting because that’s just what I do.
If I were to write more of a conclusion, it might be something like this. “Some call me the Kobe Bryant of life. Actually, only I call myself the Kobe Bryant of life. The basketball superstar and I share one thing in common. We fight. Kobe once tore his achilles tendon and walked on it to shoot free throws. Granted, I am not at that level yet, but I hope to be one day. I have a vision for my life and only ignorance will omit the clear struggles that I will face in my process. So, I learn to fight now so that I may be at that level one day and have the capability to rise above while others stumble and fall.”

And got the following answer:

There are several good ways of how to start writing a personal statement.
But the most important thing is to relate everything back to your subject. You can start with any of the following points:
~ Explaining why you want to study the subject
~ What you have done to demonstrate your interest in the subject (the most important bit)
~ Why you choose this scope of activity
~ What your extra curricular activities have taught you in relation to your subject
~ Conclusion that reiterates your passion for the subject

Take these sections and start mind mapping ideas and things that you can put in each.
Once you get some ideas down on the page, the statement should be a lot easier for you to write. However, if you need some information about graduate school personal statement you can visit those sites in source box.

United States Air Force asked How do I amplify light?

Well I am creating a night vision scope add on for my rifle, and i have it all laid out… But i cant figure out how to amplify the moonlight for it so it wont work. Do you guys know how to do this…

And got the following answer:

The image from a digital camera can be manipulated by software on your laptop to allow you to discern details that your eye would never detect.

Dynamte6799 asked What was the mood at the end of Night?

‘Night’ by Eliezer Wiesel, if you read it, ends abruptly. Elie dosen’t really talk that much about what hapenned after the liberation. Still, what was the overall mood at the end of the story?

And got the following answer:

the web page (below) provides:

Analysis
Although we know that Elie Wiesel, Night’s author, recovered his faith in man and God and went on to lead a productive life after the Holocaust, none of this post-Holocaust biographical information is present in Night. Because the scope of Night does not extend beyond Eliezer’s liberation, some readers argue that the memoir offers no hope whatsoever. Eliezer has been witness to the ultimate evil; he has lost his faith in God, and in the souls of men. Night’s final line, in which Eliezer looks at himself in the mirror and sees a “corpse,” suggests that Eliezer’s survival is a stroke of luck, a strange coincidence, no cause for rejoicing. It seems from his closing vision that Eliezer believes that without hope and faith, after having seen the unimaginable, he might as well be dead.

After stating that he sees a “corpse” looking back at him, Eliezer adds, “The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me.” While it is true that Eliezer, after the Holocaust, thinks of himself as another person, someone utterly changed from the innocent boy who left Sighet, that person, that “corpse,” undergoes a metamorphosis. Looking back, Eliezer realizes that he is no longer the corpse who was liberated from Buchenwald. He may be doomed to remember the look in the corpse’s eyes, but he manages to keep himself separate from this empty shell of a man. Indeed, it is Eliezer’s particular burden to remember the look in the corpse’s eyes, because only by remembering and by bearing witness can the survivors of the Holocaust ensure that nothing like the Holocaust will ever happen again. But the memory of evil, as Wiesel realizes, and as Eliezer perhaps comes to realize in the process of separating himself from the corpse he has become as a result of his time in the concentration camps, can coexist with faith, both in God and in man.

Night does not end with optimism and a rosy message, but neither does it end as bleakly as many believe. What we are left with are questions—about God’s and man’s capacity for evil—but no true answers. Night does not try to answer these questions; perhaps this lack of answers is one of the reasons that the story ends with the liberation of Buchenwald. The moral responsibility for remembering the Holocaust, and for confronting these difficult moral and theological questions, falls directly upon us, the readers.

Dreadhead89 asked What goggles did the united states marine corps have issued?

Prior to this new type that are very recent, what were the older goggles? Anyone know the actual name for them so I can read up on the eye protection? Thanks!

And got the following answer:

Dread,
this is yet another case of development that was advanced following captured scientific research of the Allied Forces from the Nazi Regime.Through the 1950’s, Night Vision focused on improving upon the cascade image tube, a development of the Germans during WW II. Scientists at the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) were contracted to research and develop a near-infrared, two-stage cascade image tube. Using a new multi-alkali photocathode (developed at RCA), the new cascade image tube performed beyond everyone’s expectations. This new system, known as Image Intensification (I2), gathered ambient light from the moon and the stars in the night sky and intensified this light. Night Vision quickly adjusted their plans to improve upon this system. There were certain challenges attendant with this new technology: the gain was limited and the output image was upside down. A third electrostatic stage added to the tube resulted in more gain and re-inverted the image, but the tube grew to 17 inches long and 3.5 inches in diameter to maintain adequate edge resolution. This made the system too large for military applications. However, these developments were a major step forward in the development of passive, man-portable night vision systems.

By the mid-1960’s, scientists and engineers at Night Vision fielded the first generation of passive night vision devices for U.S. troops, including a Small Starlight Scope that served as a rifle-mounted sight or as a handheld viewer. Realizing these systems were far from perfected, Night Vision research personnel came to refer to the development of this early equipment as the First Generation Image Intensifier Program.

We are now literally on the third generation at this point in time. The Starlight Scope was the platoon level night vision tool used during the Vietnam War and this was effective at night for a single man, in a fighting hole, attending his watch in advance of VC movements.

See the link below for more and googe Radio Corporation of America (RCA) who was the first company in the USA to develop the I2 devices.

I hopt this helps,
Gerry

Brandon asked Can the Nikon Coolpix P90 do night vision shots?

I have the Nikon Coolpix P90. I have been able to find Night Portrait mode and Night Landscape mode, but neither of these will actually light up the night. I’m looking for a setting or a way (if it has one) to take night vision shots that take lighted visible photos in the dark. Anyone with some knowledge on this camera, your input is appreciated.

And got the following answer:

NO camera does night vision shots. Unless you supply you own light, you will be stuck taking night shots just like the rest of us … using long exposures or adding artificial light to the scene.

There is what it called the Night Landscape as you know, but it is important you place the camera on a tripod.

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to terms used in the world of photography. Taking a class or two should help you understand what certain features can do and what they cannot do.

The IR video or starlight video is the result of connecting a camera to the IR or starlight scope using an adapter.

Jordan LaFaver asked Is there such thing as a “night vision lens”?

I’m a ghost hunter, and have been searching far and wide for a camera to use ghost hunting. Being foolish, I purchased an infrared light for my Canon HV40, thinking it was capable of night vision. It was not. My first question is, since there are so many types of lenses out there, is it possible to buy a lens that makes your camera able to see infrared light? The second question is, can someone please recommend a camera for me that has a decent night vision function?

And got the following answer:

As you found out I/R is not the same as heat or night vision.

Night vision uses a ‘photon multiplier’ tube, a high voltage cathode ray tube, to form an image on an internal screen by ‘amplifying’ the available light. They work by literally grabbing the photons and increase their energy levels to the point that they are accelerated and cause the Internal screen to fluoresce, every photon adding to the display. As the most sensitive channel is green they usually use a green phosphor and form a green image. Totally different technology from a normal camera.

Modern versions use three tubes one with a red screen, one with a green and one with blue which when combined give a colour image. The sensors on these are nowadays CCD sensors not a phosphor screen, these cameras are very expensive (over £100,000, these are the cameras used on all those Police helicopter programs you see.

I suppose you could rig up a night vision scope so the phosphor screen projected it’s image onto your camera sensor, but it would be a very low res, green image.

Chris

Papa John asked What does that average Marine outfit their rifle with?

what kind of scopes, red dots, lasers, or torches do they typically use or have mounted to the rifle in iraq? name brands maybe

And got the following answer:

The average Marine actually doesn’t outfit his rifle with very much at all. Out of all the time I’ve spent downrange, while every douchebag, non-combat-seeing pogue unit in the Army was getting outfitted with tricked-out M-4’s. Marine infantry guys are still lugging around M-16A2’s with iron sights. Maybe the occasional AN/PVQ-31 ACOG, but that’s about it.

What does the average Army Soldier outfit their rifle with? That’s an entirely different story! We start out with a Colt M-4A4 with a flat-top “Picatinny” rail system and 4-sided picatinny handguards. For sighting, we either mount an ACOG, or an M-68A2 “red dot” scope. The ACOG magnifies 1.5x but doesn’t have any battery-operated illumination. The M-68 has no magnification, but has an illuminated red dot that you can see at night. A lot of the big-time “operators” with beards and no name tapes use the EOTech holographic sight. Same basic principle as the M-68, but a little better visibility and choice of sight shape. (circle, dot, red cross, etc.) We also add a flip-up rear aperture sight to be used in case the M-68 stops working. The front sight is still there, so you can see it in your scope, but it’s OK, because you may need it if the scope breaks or stops working. On the handguard, we mount an AN/PAQ-4 IR laser on the right side (only visible with NVG’s. We use PVS-14’s. Some units still have the old PVS-7’s) It’s not a laser designator. Designators are the size of a mini-fridge and emit an 8-digit code that the munition hones in on. “Lazing” a target is an entirely different thing that Cav Scouts and Air Force TAC-P guys do. The PAQ-4 laser just shines a light that can only be seen under goggles. On the left, side we mount a Surefire light. The Surefire light is for room clearing. A lot of times when we’d go into someone’s house, the light came in handy to blind suspects. There are a lot of instances where flooding the whole place with light (usually during room clearing) was better than night vision because NVG’s don’t give you any depth perception and you only have a 40 degree field of view. On the bottom, we either mount an M-203 40mm grenade launcher (super heavy!), a Harris bipod (also heavy and not very useful. There’s ALWAYS something to brace your rifle against.) or a broom-handle grip. The Surefire light activation switch gets put on the broom-handle grip with black electrical tape. Everything is either safety-wired to the rifle or tied on with 500-cord for extra security. Last, but not least, some guys cover up all the optic lenses, close the dust cover and spray paint it with a light coat of matte brown and tan stripes, but that’s because they’re gay and they do it as a secret sign to pick each other out in crowds.