Last Updated on March 20, 2021
To protect yourself from hidden enemies’ attacks at night, one of the greatest solutions is to use night vision technology in modern war. Luckily, there are plenty of quality military night vision monoculars that make our dream come true. With these NVDs, you can easily scan distant targets at the darkest night that you can’t see with naked eyes.
After the invention of night vision technology, it is continuously developing and expanding its field of use. You may be wondering, how night vision changed military life. Here is a dedicated discussion on that topic. So, read out the article to get the idea in a minute!
Different Military Night Vision Monocular with Their Best Uses
Night vision can be classified into three broad categories such as image intensification, active illumination, and thermal imaging. They are discussed below.
Image Intensification Technology
Image intensification is a complex energy conversion process that occurs in the vacuum tube. This tube increases the available light intensity through an optical system that allows using low-light conditions even in the darkest night. The image intensifier tube idea was proposed first by G. Holst and H. De Boer in 1928.
An image intensifier tube is an optoelectronic device that converts the low level of light photons into electrons. Then the electrons are also transformed back to photons of light. Actually, the photons of lights in such devices are received from natural sources such as the moon, star, or streetlight. They are sometimes called “Low Light TV”. Examples of such NVDs are low-light cameras and night glasses.
With the variations of NV monocular generations, functions of the image intensifier tube may vary a bit but the main principles are almost the same.
Now, let’s see how the image intensification system works actually.
Firstly, the low-light sources of photons enter the objective lens and hit the photocathode. After that, the negatively biased photocathode releases electrons that strike the microchannel plate (MCP). The high-energy electrons are accelerated and released in the MCP that is called secondary cascaded emission.
Later on, the accelerated electrons hit the phosphor screen and produce photons of light. Normally, the phosphor screen is made from green optics as the human eye is highly sensitive to green color than others. And finally, the green lights are readied to view through the eyepiece.
Active Illumination Technology
Active illumination is another major night vision technology. Sometimes these NVDs are called digital night vision devices. This is also an inexpensive night vision technique than other processes. It also creates high-resolution images than image illumination and thermal imaging technologies.
With this night vision, it is possible to see in the snow, fog, even smoky situations. Almost all of them will allow you in recording videos. Another great advantage of this technology is to recognize the targets instead of mere detection.
Active illumination combines with the image intensification technology that creates an active source of illumination in the near-infrared band and shortwave infrared band. The infrared illumination spectral range varies from 700 to 1000 nm which is just below the human visible spectrum. This active IR illuminator produces a high brightness image and removes all types of shadows from outputs.
Now, this technology is found in residential, commercial, and government security applications. The laser range-gated imaging technique is another type of active night vision that uses the powerful pulsed light source as illuminations and imaging. You may know, gated imaging can be classified into single shot and multi-shots.
Thermal Imaging Technology
The thermal imaging system detects heat temperature from the background and creates a ‘thermogram’ profile according to temperature difference. In this technology, there is no need for illumination sources. Thermographic technology is widely used in the military, security purposes, and aircraft that are commonly referred to as FLIR (forward-looking infrared).
The infrared thermography can detect a long-range electromagnetic spectrum from 9 to 14 µm. When viewing in thermal imaging, warm objects produce an extreme background than cooler objects. With the thermogram profile, you can easily differentiate between humans, animals, and other things.
In 2009, government and airport personnel used this for detecting suspected swine flu. Firefighters use thermography to find persons through the smoke that is mounted on their heads. Besides these applications, this is also a handy device for construction and maintenance technicians as they can easily locate overheating sections or any type of leaking.
Military night vision monoculars made tactical tasks as well as surveillance easy and reliable. We believe that more developments in NVDs will come soon that will overcome today’s limitations.