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Science behind Night Vision Devices

23/06/2020 by Prachi Gupta

 

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From its first extensive use in military operations of World War 2, to its present-day high-tech form, Night Vision Devices, commonly known as NVDs have transformed the battlefield in more ways than one. Making the term ‘under the cover of darkness’ absolutely redundant, NVDs have upped the ante of combative capabilities by giving us a distinct edge over the enemy. But, did you ever wonder what enables this game-changing device to function? 

At the heart of an NVD lies a complex component in the form of a vacuum tube called the ‘Image Intensifier’. Consisting of three major parts, namely the Photo Cathode, the Micro Channel Plate and the Phosphor Screen, the Image Intensifier uses light amplifying technology to give a picture of the surroundings with minimal ambient light and helps identify a target even in the darkest of surroundings.

The way it achieves this is by collecting all the photons passing through the objective lens and converting them into electrons via a photocathode. These electrons are then amplified through a thin disc containing millions of closely spaced channels called the MCP. When the electrons pass through the microplate and strike the channel walls, thousands of additional electrons get released, and when these amplified electrons pass through a phosphor screen they are converted back into photons, thus resulting in an image that can easily be seen through the eye piece lens.

Taking ‘light-bending’ to a whole new level, this game-changing technology is extensively used for precisely locating the enemy by the military, for navigation, surveillance and targeting, and also has tremendous use in the industrial sector. If you feel intrigued by the science and capabilities of night vision, stay tuned to this space to learn more about this fascinating tool that is transforming the battlefields. Click here to know more about NETRO.

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