Since the 20th century, night vision has been a standard technology for all types of after-dark, low-visibility military operations. Following its development in the 1930s, it has revolutionized how missions are planned and carried out in challenging circumstances.
The ability to see in the dark offers exceptional advantages on the battlefield, but night vision equipment still has many limitations. A newly showcased technology that significantly lights up a wearer’s vision may have overcome those limits and it’s generating a lot of buzz among the defense and tech industries.
A Striking Upgrade To Night Vision
The Enhanced Night Vision Goggle-Binocular (ENVG-B) takes the green-tinted visuals of conventional night vision and sharpens them with a glowing high-contrast outline. The difference between this new technology and standard military night vision is striking.
Conventional night vision goggles work by taking any ambient light photons within an environment and passing them through a photocathode, where they are then transformed into electrons. The electrons will then contact a green phosphor fluorescent tube, which creates an enhanced visibility image. The phosphorescent green is uniquely distinguishable to the human eye and can be viewed for long periods of time without fatigue. The ENVG-B works on a similar principle, but instead of the green phosphor tube, white phosphor fluorescence is used to create a sharp outline around objects in motion, such as people and weapons.
Likened To A Videogame
The ENVG-B also improves depth perception by lifting objects from the background. They further expand upon the capabilities of conventional night vision by integrating with augmented reality systems and the scopes of remote weapons. The goggles themselves weigh two-and-half pounds, which is a reduction in weight from standard equipment. They also do not require head straps and instead mount directly on the soldier’s helmet where they can be simply flipped down as needed.
The new night vision goggles were put to the test by the 2nd Battalion 17th Field Artillery of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division at the Yakima Training Center in Washington. Videos of the goggles in use during live-fire exercises have spurred many reactions that liken the visuals to a video game.
What do you think of this significant upgrade to a military technology that’s been mostly unchanged over decades? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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