Auto Gating is a crucial technology in modern-day NVDs. It makes the device capable of giving clear visuals infrequent and sudden changes in light conditions. Placed within the image intensifier tube, it enables the amount of light reaching the intensifier to be automatically gated i.e., it frequently switches ON and OFF the tube, hence brighter lights do not cause any damage to the unit.
The Auto-Gating process applies an adaptive approach in order to reduce the impact of impulsive noise. Auto-Gating electronically reduces the duty cycle of the photocathode voltage by rapidly switching the voltage on and off, which maintains the most appropriate performance of the image intensifier tube.
It also improves the quality of the image, as well as enhances usability under dynamic lighting conditions found during military and law enforcement operations. The feature also protects its user from temporary blindness and helps maintain absolute situational awareness.
Image Intensifier tube without Auto-gating
Image Intensifier tube with Auto-gating
‘Auto Gating’ upped the ante in the night vision Devices industry as it not only made the NVD’s image refined but also made it capable for hardy use. It did so by preserving high MTF (Modulation Transfer Function) and resolution that is obtained at the full operating voltage while reducing the strain of high illumination levels on the image intensifier tube and thus increasing the life of the tube as well.
These qualities have made Gen 2 & Gen 3 NVDs the preferred choice for defence forces all over the world and are specially used by Special Forces, Search and Rescue Operations Teams, Commandos, among others. To know more about the technology and science behind the NVD’s, do read our next article.