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    Night vision-Seeing in the dark

    • Author:Durham Technology
    • Release on :2018-12-05
    The original purpose of night vision was tolocate enemy targets at night. It is still used extensively by the military forthat purpose, as well as for navigation, surveillance and targeting. Police andsecurity often use both CMOS and image-enhancement technology, particularly forsurveillance. But CMOS technology are the best choice as its lighter weight andnever worry about burnt out when exposed in strong light especially forwarfare. Detectives and private investigators use night vision to watch peoplethey are assigned to track.

    When it comes to night vision, most of us naturally and correctly assumethat these products enable us to see at night. However, there are differenttypes of night vision technologies that have different uses and capabilities.Under the umbrella term “night vision,” experts usually differentiate betweenfour main types: image intensifier night vision, active illumination, thermal imaging and CMOS technology.

    Image intensifier is a vacuum tube device forincreasing the intensity of available light in an optical system to allow useunder low-light conditions or to facilitate visual imaging of low-lightprocesses for conversion of non-visible light sources to visible. They operateby converting photons of light into electrons, amplifying the electrons(usually with a microchannel plate) and then converting the amplified electronsback into photons for viewing. Usuallyclassified as gen 1, gen 2, gen3 and gen 4.


    Before we dive into the technicaldiscussion, it is prudent to familiarize ourselves with some common nightvision terminology.

    Sensitivity: defines the minimum amount ofinfrared light that can be detected

    Gain: the ratio of visible output to theamount of infrared input; a measure of signal amplification

    Noise: the output signal on the phosphor screenthat is not related to the actual infrared image; noise distorts and blursimages

    Photocathode: a negatively chargedscreen/electrode coated with photosensitive material; absorbs infrared light toproduce electrons

    MCP: a micro-channel plate; used inamplification of photoelectrons

    Anode: a positively charge electrode;accelerates electrons toward the phosphor screen

    Phosphor screen: this absorbs electronsgenerated by the photocathode and produces the visible-light image, whichcorresponds to the original infrared image

    Active devices: night vision devicesthat use infrared (IR) illuminators to cast additional or supplemental light ontargets for imaging

    Passive devices: night vision devicesthat use natural infrared illumination for imaging.

    Thermalimaging---Effectively translate heat - that is, thermal energy - into visiblelight to analyze surroundings. This makes them very versatile. It can Be veryprecise, requiring only a small amount of heat to work effectively.

    Active illumination--Active illumination night vision method is used commonly in most of thecommercial, governmental, and residential security purposes for providing theeffective night lighting of clear imaging vision under the low lightingconditions. To obtain a reliable low lighting video security system, theactive illumination is integrated.

    CMOS technology---Complementarymetal–oxide–semiconductor, abbreviated as 'CMOS', is a technology forconstructing integrated circuits. CMOS technology is used in microprocessors,microcontrollers, static RAM, and other digital logic circuits. ... CMOS alsoallows a high density of logic functions on a chip. Night vision with CMOStechnology will be more clearer and sensitive image than other technology andnever worry about burnt out when exposed in strong light.

    Don'ts of Night Vision and Thermal Imaging

    1.       Do notexpose intensifier-tube devices to bright light or the day(except CMOS nightvision device)

    2.       Do not leavethe device on when not in use.

    3.       Do not touchthe optical elements with fingertips.

    4.       Do not leavebatteries inside during storage or transport.

    5.       Avoidexposure to moisture unless the device is waterproof or water resistant.

    Dos of Night Vision and Thermal Imaging

    1.       Consultmanufacturer's instructions before use.

    2.       Keep devicesclean, especially lenses.

    3.       Userecommended or included case for storage and transport.

    4.       Use lenscaps, when possible, to protect optics and tubes.

    5.       Store incool and dry places.