The night vision device is known as night optical/observation device (NOD) and night vision goggles (NVG) is an optoelectronic device that allows images to be produced in levels of light approaching total darkness. The night vision devices help in the conditions like with little or no light. The night vision devices were made for use at the time of war but with advancing technology, its applications are also increasing. This is driving the market for night vision devices. The night vision devices have three basic functions. That is Detection, Recognition, and Identification. It helps in detecting an object in limited light, recognizes the object, and helps in identifying distinguishing features. The night vision devices come in four different standards starting from Generation 0 then Generation 1, Generation 2, and lastly Generation 3. This is been segmented based on advancing technology and its rising properties with the rise in up-gradation. The night vision devices come in three technologies Thermal Imaging, Infrared Illumination, and Image Intensification or Enhancement. The night vision devices are used in three kinds of products Camera, Goggle, and Scopes. The growing application of night vision devices with advancing technology includes Navigation, Security and Surveillance, for hunting and watching animals in dark, nature observation, increase in nocturnal activities, and many more. The advancing technology is expected to grow the market share of the Semiconductor Industry.
The thermal imaging uses thermographic technology in thermal imaging cameras for detecting the relative difference in the temperature of an object to release or emit heat. The thermography is a general term for scanning, detecting, measuring, and displaying medium wavelength infrared (MWIR) and long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) radiation. The thermal imaging works by capturing high-frequency infrared light (IR) and heat rather than visible light. The thermal imaging device captures the thermal-IR light, and then scans that light with an array of IR detector elements and then interprets the IR light as a sort of heat-map and then converting it into electrical impulses. At last, the impulses go through the device’s processing unit, which further converts the data into an image and sends it to the display. The thermal imaging device is unaffected by smoke or fog and they can be used in absolute darkness since they are not dependant on the visible light. The thermal imaging is highly used for security and surveillance purposes as they can catch any activity through heat reading in total darkness. The increased use of thermal imaging is increasing demand in night vision device market.
The image intensification or enhancement uses light-amplifying technology that requires minimal light to operate and is used in devices like monocular, binoculars, goggles, and riflescopes. The night vision goggles use image enhancement technology to collect all the available light and then amplifying it to see easily in the dark. Most night vision goggles use image enhancement technology.
The infrared illumination can be used for improving the performance of image intensification devices. It helps in providing a light source to produce enhanced images in a very low-light environment. The infrared illuminators use three illumination technologies incandescent, light-emitting diode (LED) or laser. The
The night vision device can be used for a variety of security applications like long-range detection, covert surveillance, use in harsh environmental conditions, and provides greater sensitivity in darker locations. The night vision device can help in catching intruders without even them being aware of surveillance and with thermal imagers in dark locations provides the user with detection capability even when intruders attempt to camouflage themselves. The increase in the use of night vision devices for security applications is increasing the night vision device market share.
Law Enforcement Applications
The image intensifiers night vision device can provide high-quality images using very low levels of ambient light and reveal details that thermal imaging cameras may miss. The night vision devices are helpful in search and rescue operations, surveillance, apprehension, forensics, hazardous material response, tracking, and navigation.
Natural Resource Agency Applications
The night vision device can be used for managing natural resources and for observing nocturnal wildlife for research and inventory. The thermal imagers are useful solutions for detecting wildlife fires, animal inventory, detecting disturbed earth, forensic examination, and tasks related to topography and mapping.
The use of thermal image scanning is a non-invasive medical procedure that requires no physical contact with the patient. The infrared images provided by using thermal imaging provide data that is useful in the evaluation of muscular performance and blood flow. The thermal imagers can also be used for detecting feverish persons in a crowd.
Use of Night Vision Devices in Different Products: -
The night vision scopes are normally handheld or mounted on a weapon; scopes are monocular (one eyepiece). The scopes are handheld and not worn like goggles. They can help in viewing a specific object when required and then can be turned back to normal viewing conditions. The scopes can provide a magnification of 2x and higher. The scope is mainly used for target acquisition since the narrow FOV does not provide adequate breadth for night surveillance. The scopes may be waterproof or camera adaptable depending on the application.
The goggles are mostly worn on the helmets and goggles are generally binocular (two eye-pieces) and may have a single or stereo lens, depending on the model. Goggles are excellent for constant viewings, like moving around in a vehicle, boats, or aircraft at night. While the monocular and binocular goggles are best used for surveillance and “stop and look” situations. To increase the magnification and to configure them to be more useful for surveillance accessories can be added. Some of the goggles come with water resistivity and provide improved durability.
The cameras with night vision technology are mainly used for security purposes. It can record and capture the image and send it to monitor for display or to a VCR for recording. There are wide types of an assortment of adapters available for digital cameras, 35mm cameras, CCTV, and video equipment for night vision devices.