Author Topic: Explanation of 4 generations of night vision  (Read 12003 times)

Offline misfitguy

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2006
  • Posts: 584
    • Misfits Central
Explanation of 4 generations of night vision
« on: December 30, 2009, 02:06:42 PM »

I found this site and through a series of trickery's and clever manipulations, I copied its explanation of the different types of night vision.  You can go to their site and click on the link called Compare Generations or click here

Or you can read the final result of my chicanery below.

1st Generation Technology:  Gen 1 technology is currently the most popular type of night vision in the world.  Utilizing the basic principles, a 1st generation will amplify the existing light several thousand times letting you clearly see in the dark.  These units provide a bright and sharp image at a low cost, which is perfect, whether you are boating, observing wildlife, or providing security for your home.  A Gen 1 device will typically reach about 75 yards in pitch-black conditions, and much further when ambient light is present.  When using a 1st Gen device, you may notice some of the following characteristics inherent to Gen 1 Technology, all of which are normal:
1) A slight high-pitched whine may occur when the unit is on,
2) Some geometric distortion may appear around the periphery, and
3) When you turn a 1st Gen off it may glow green for some time.

2nd Generation Technology:
  Gen 2 technology is primarily used by law enforcement or for professional applications, because the cost of a 2nd Gen unit is typically $500 to $1000 more then a 1st gen.  The main difference between a 1st and a 2nd generation unit is the addition of a micro-channel plate, commonly referred to as a MCP.  The MCP works as an electron amplifier and is placed directly behind the photocathode.  The MCP consists of millions of short parallel glass tubes.  When the electrons pass through these short tubes, thousands more electrons are released.  This extra process allows 2nd generation units to amplify the light many more times then 1st generation giving you a brighter and sharper image.  In pitch-black conditions, a Gen 2 device will reach 100 yards.  Of course, the viewing distance is greatly increased when ambient light is present.

 3rd Generation Technology: Gen 3 technology is the latest in night vision technology.  By adding a gallium arsenide layer to the photocathode a brighter and sharper image is achieved.  Gen 3 devices excell in very dark environments where Gen 1 and Gen 2 devices are limited.  In pitch black conditions, a Gen 3 device will typically reach at least 150 yards, and frequently further, depending on the backdrop.  Image brightness and resolution will be compareable to 4th Gen, though extra bright areas will have an apparent halo that is significantly reduced in 4th Gen products.  Unfortunately, Gen 3 technology is vastly more expensive than 1st or 2nd generation.  Typically a 3rd generation unit will cost $2000 or more.

 4th Generation Technology:  Gen 4 Gated Filmless technology represents the biggest technological breakthrough in image intensification of the past 10 years.  By removing the ion barrier film and Gating the system, Gen 4 demonstrates substantial increases in target detection range and resolution, particularly at extremely low light levels.  In pitch-black conditions, a Gen 4 device will typically reach 200 yards or further, depending on the backdrop.  With a moon sliver overhead, a Gen 4 device may provide good vision to 1000 yds or more, depending on the environment.

With significant improvement in contrast level and in performance under all light conditions, 4th generation represents the top of the line performance in the night
Go to  Why not?

Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.

~Groucho Marx

"The world is one country and mankind is its citizens..."  Baha'u'llah