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See with out being seen

Updated on January 10, 2014
Soldiers on patrol armed with NVDs
Soldiers on patrol armed with NVDs
Night vision goggles
Night vision goggles

Many animals have better night vision than humans do. My dog Pepper makes me rest less during some nights with his barks. Well, by using night vision devices human eyes too can see an object or a person standing in dark far away. I am trying to portray a story relating to night vision where three human lives and a helicopter were lost. It was a night time training operation for the flight crew flying with night vision goggles attached to their flying helmet. The mission was to spot a hidden boat parked in the shallow water out in the sea in pitch dark. Pilot flew very low hovering over the sea looking through his green vision of the goggles to spot the boat. After a long and fruitless effort he was asked to return to base mission unaccomplished. The pilot lost his peripheral vision by viewing through the night vision goggles and failed to maintain the situation awareness. As a result he poorly judged the extremely low altitude that he was flying from the water. He rolled his chopper to the left for returning, during his roll hit his rotor blade on the water and fell in to the sea for ever killing himself and two others. What a sad story, but it true.

Contact lenses NVDs
Contact lenses NVDs

See with out being seen

Night vision devices or NVDs are optical instruments that enable us to see in dark. Night vision devices were originally developed during world war II and effectively used by German soldiers against Allied forces. Night visions are increasingly popular to soldiers in combat because they can locate enemy targets at night with out being seen. During Afghanistan and Iraq wars very advanced night vision devices were used. They say, much advanced contact lenses capable of night vision for a short period of time were planted in to the eyes of the soldiers engaged in Bin Laden raid. Night vision devices are now made to adjust to changing lighting conditions so that soldiers can use them in variety of conditions. Today panoramic night vision goggles are being developed so that soldier's field of view will be doubled. Let us see how do they work, they work in following two different ways.

High resolution green pictures of NVDs
High resolution green pictures of NVDs

Image enhancement

There are tiny amounts of light available in the night that cannot be detected by human eyes. Some animals like cats, dogs and deer can enhance this tiny lights to an increased amount of light because of the special capability of their eyes. In an image enhancement technology they do exactly the same they gather these minute amount of visible lights available in the night sky from the moon or stars and amplify to a high resolution green light so that human eye can easily see the image.

Thermal images
Thermal images

Thermal imaging

Thermal devices make excellent tools for night vision. They work on temperature difference between the objects and their backgrounds enabling much better ability to see through smoke, dust, adverse whether and total darkness. since this type equipment can produce an image even in pitch dark with out any tiny illumination available they are used for surveillance and security net works.

Firing arms using NVDs
Firing arms using NVDs


NVDs are categorized by generation. Each substantial changes made to NVD technology makes new generation. These generation ranges from 0 to 4, the cheaper NVDs available in market for a bargain price are 0 or 1 generation may be disappointing for your use. Generation 2, 3 and 4 are expensive to purchase but it will last and meet your requirement if you take care.

Night vision binoculars
Night vision binoculars

Application for night vision devices

  • Military
  • Law enforcement
  • Hunting
  • Wild life observation
  • Surveillance
  • Security
  • Navigation
  • Hidden object detection
  • Entertainment

Night vision camcorder
Night vision camcorder

Original purpose of night vision was to locate enemy targets at night it is still extensively used by the military for that purpose, police uses for surveillance, hunters use for moving through woods at night, detectives and private investigators uses to watch people, security men uses to monitor surroundings. Many people are beginning to discover the unique world that can be after darkness falls. The equipment are much more effective and cheaper than earlier. If you are out camping or hunting a lot chances are that night vision devices can be useful to you. Just be sure to get the right one for you.


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