How Do Night Vision Goggles Work

Night vision goggles started as a sophisticated piece of technology only available for military purposes. But they became widely available for the general public and the public loved them back! Now you can even find the best gen 3-night vision monocular, binocular, and goggles with the most amazing features.

Besides offering high-quality images, it is possible to find devices with video recorders, Wi-Fi, zoom, and control of the images. If you don't have your night vision goggles it is time to take a look and see how they work. That will let you decide if you need to include it in your set of tools. And, if you are starting to hunt or practice other night activities, it will give you a clearer look.

How Do Night Vision Goggles Work

How Do Night Vision Goggles Work?

Before detailing how night vision goggles work, you must know a little about how light works. First of all, there is something called infrared light. It is a type of light with a longer wavelength. As a result, the human eye can not perceive it at first view. But it is still there!

You can find that things, animals, and humans emit infrared lights. The quantity and intensity vary but night vision devices can detect them all. You might consider it as sneaky and somehow it is...Until goggles came up.

But these devices need to do something else to deliver the images it detects. It has to amplify the infrared light. It does this by converting the energy it emits into electrons.  The light source and the kinetic energy determine the initial number of electrons available.

Then, the device multiplies them with a photoelectric effect. When there are enough of them, it delivers them to a phosphor screen. Once they arrive there, the device reflects a vivid image of the object, animal, or human.

Nowadays, night vision goggles evolved and can deliver outstanding images using different types of technology. However, what we mentioned above using infrared lights was the original method. And is still valid and very useful for many devices. Also, you can find them at affordable prices.

What Two Types Of Technology Are Used For Night Vision Goggles?

The evolution of the technology allowed night vision goggles to evolve too. Currently, it is possible to find two major classifications that use the following approaches:

Passive And Active

Passive night vision just amplifies the infrared light it finds. It always needs a source of light. It also receives the name of starlight night vision. On the other hand, active night vision uses a source that is near-infrared light. To be able to use it, the device needs sensitive optics to this spectrum.

Image enhancement and thermal imaging

The first method, image enhancement, amplifies the existing light it finds from any source.  The second method consists of using thermal energy. Thermal energy is produced by the heat that objects, animals, and people emit in the form of infrared (IR) light.  It processes the heat in the way we mentioned above. This type of technology is most widely used.

When we talk about the technology for night vision goggles, you must also know about the use of intensifier tubes. These tubes are the primary source of the evolution of night vision devices. Although the use of IR lights remains the same, the intensifier tubes change their materials and design.

We can see that 1st generation devices used three intensifier tubes manufactured with multi-alkali photocathode design and materials. It proved to be very efficient in terms of more brightness of the image. But it also ended being too heavy to carry out.

Then, the 2nd generation introduced intensifier tubes with micro-channel plates inside. Those microchannels were capable of increasing the number of electrons with just one tube. As a result, the devices reduced their size and weight. With this generation, night vision devices started the race of popularity.

Finally, the 3rd generation introduced a new material for the tubes called arsenide that provide greater sensitivity in the darkest areas. Also, the images had much better resolution and the devices reached a better range of detection. Currently, a 4th generation is starting to emerge but is not available yet.

Final words

Night vision goggle devices are very useful for many purposes that include animal watching, surveillance, hunting, navigation, exploration, and much more. Although they all share some technology, some can be more efficient or certain activities.

Hence, wties. Hence, when you select some regarding the quality of image they offer. Although the market offers monoculars and binoculars, goggles offer an extra advantage by being hand free.  And some of them are lightweight and easy to carry around.

Whatever the activity you perform at night, you will surely benefit from using these types of devices.

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