• It is the ability to see in low light conditions.
• Humans have poor night vision when compared to animals
• With a proper Night-vision equipment we can locate an
object clearly which is 200 yards(183 m) away even in
• It is originally developed for military use.
Infrared light can be split into three categories
Near-infrared (near-IR) - Closest to visible light, near-IR has
wavelengths that range from 0.7 to 1.3 microns, or 700 billionths to 1,300
billionths of a meter(700nm-1300nm)
Mid-infrared (mid-IR) - Mid-IR has wavelengths ranging from 1.3 to 3
microns. Both near-IR and mid-IR are used by a variety of electronic
devices, including remote controls(1300nm-3000nm)
Thermal-infrared (thermal-IR) - Occupying the largest part of the
infrared spectrum, thermal-IR has wavelengths ranging from 3 microns to
over 30 microns.
Based on the technology used night vision technology is classified into
• Image Intensification
• This works by collecting the tiny amounts of light, including the lower portion
of the infrared light spectrum, that are present but may be imperceptible to our
eyes, and amplifying it to the point that we can easily observe the image
• A conventional lens, called the objective lens captures ambient light
and some near-infrared light
• The image-intensifier tube has a photo cathode, which is used to
convert the photons of light energy into electrons
• As the electrons pass through the tube, similar electrons are released
from atoms in the tube, multiplying the original number of electrons
by a factor of thousands through the use of a micro channel plate
(MCP) in the tube
• At the end of the image-intensifier tube, the electrons hit a screen
coated with phosphors
• The green phosphor image is viewed through another lens, called the
ocular lens, which allows you to magnify and focus the image. The
NVD may be connected to an electronic display, such as a monitor, or
the image may be viewed directly through the ocular lens
• Thermal imaging
• This technology operates by capturing the upper portion of the infrared light
spectrum, which is emitted as heat by objects instead of simply reflected as
light. Hotter objects, such as warm bodies, emit more of this light than cooler
objects like trees or buildings
• works on the principle of black body radiation.
• A special lens focuses the infrared light
emitted by all of the objects in view
• which is scanned by array of
infrared detector elements and creates
a temperature pattern called thermogram.
• Thermogram is translated into
• These impulses are sent into signal
processing unit which translates elements
into data for display.
The first military night vision devices were introduced by the German
army as early in 1939.
The first NVD was ‘Sparrowhawk’
and used by panther tanks.
These require a source of infrared (IR)
light mounted on or near the device
to illuminate the target area.
• Rely on ambient light instead of an infrared light.
• A photo cathode is
used which intensifies
the image around
• Operating life:
• But are bulky, require
• Used MCP(Micro Channel Plate) there by improving image size and
• Works in low ambient
light and even in
• Light amplication is
around 20,000 times.
• Used a photo cathode made of GaAs and ion barrier coating on MCP
• The ion-barrier film increased
the operational life of the tube
from 2000 to 10,000 hours.
• Light amplification also
improved to a range of
• Night vision is used to locate an object which is 200 yards away even
in moonless , cloudy night
• The original purpose of night vision was to locate enemy targets at
• It is mainly used in military purposes as well as navigation ,
surveillance and targeting
• the applications of night vision technology is very essential to combat
terrorism which is a major problem being faced by mankind