Historically, most armies of the world preferred not to fight at night. The lack of visual information and difficulty navigating the terrain created the preconditions for complete chaos on the battlefield. Consequently, for centuries it was believed that night fighting was an unnecessary risk. This development continued until the mid-twentieth century.
What is NV technology?
German scientists were the first to achieve tangible results in creating night vision technology. In 1939, the German army had early examples of night vision devices. It is believed that by the end of World War II, the Germans had produced no more than one thousand night vision devices.
On the other side of the Western Front, however, the Allied secret services closely monitored the scientific progress of German scientists. Thus, the technical intelligence summary of 1945 “on captured German infrared equipment,” prepared for the British War Cabinet, recorded five models of night vision devices made in Germany.
Night vision equipment of so-called “zero generation” also appeared in the Red Army before the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War.
With the development of technology, the zero-generation devices, based on Holst’s glass principle, were replaced by electrostatic focusing systems, which used electro-optical converters, amplifying the input signal several hundreds of times. This approach for a long time could not get rid of the unacceptable resolution at the periphery of the observation zone. Still, it allowed by the 60s of the XX century to gradually abandon the accessories IR illumination, which strongly de-masked in the infrared range of any owner of a zero-generation night vision device.
So what is the secret of night vision devices?
To begin with, a night vision device will not work in total darkness because it needs light, even if it is so dim that the human eye cannot distinguish it.
Let’s assume from the beginning that the basis of everything is light, and the elementary particle of light, as many people remember from physics, is a photon. The work of the ESP is to amplify the incoming light tens of thousands of times, which will result in the picture that we see.
But how do you amplify photons? Or how to increase the number of photons? The answer is, as usual, our favorite physics! It is possible to multiply photons, but it is much easier to operate amplification with such phenomenon as electric current! So the next task is to convert a particle of light into an electron, and in this case, there is such phenomenon in physics as the photo effect, discovered at the end of the 19th century!
The photo effect is the knocking out of electrons from the surface of matter under the action of the incident light, i.e., photons. So now the process for us looks like this: photons of light, falling on a special plate with a functional coating in ESP, knock out from its surface electrons.
Then these electrons, let’s call them primary electrons, fall on a special microchannel plate, which results in a phenomenon called secondary emission, which is the emission of electrons from the surface of the active substance under the action of primary electrons.
Thus, the number of electrons increases tens of thousands of times!
It turns out that the principle of converting the flow of electrons into light is precisely the same as in the kinescopes of old TV sets. The glass disk is coated with a luminescent coating. When an electron gets on this coating, it causes a glow, and the more electrons flow on the layer, the brighter the dot glows!
So, we have considered a general model of night vision device operation. I emphasize once again that the night vision device will not work without any light source and, therefore, without photons!
However, there are night vision devices with a unique source of infrared light, which is not visible to the human eye and with which night vision devices can work in complete darkness. It is a kind of artificial illumination of objects!
The future is developing, and this device will undoubtedly improve with time. Most importantly, the night vision device can now be used in military and civilian life. It helps a lot in studying nocturnal animals, but ordinary cameras do not allow qualitative learning. Also, this device helps study caves for apparent reasons.
Use a night vision and in hunting, but some hunters stick to the traditional hunting and consider hunting with night sights is not humane, as the animal has almost no chance to getaway. Yes, the exact hit does become more probable, but it reduces the risk of leaving the shot. It is better if it is a hare, but what if it is a larger animal? There are cases when wounded wild boars and bears left hunters and then attacked defenseless people.
Because of the high price of high-quality night sights, their owners are pretty wealthy people who often participate in commercial hunts for specially bred animals. So, there is no threat to the population of wild animals. Even on the contrary, the night sight allows distinguishing the female from the male in time, which is almost impossible in “blind” hunting. Besides, despite what they said about the inhumanity of using night sights, it is difficult to deny that when hunting at dusk and night, a night sight can protect hunters from accidental shots of their partners, who can confuse because of insufficient illumination a man with a beast.
This is a significant milestone in developing systems for tracking and recording the natural world. Night vision device becomes more accessible to civilians, the device itself becomes smaller, making it possible to use it in weapons. As night vision technology spreads rapidly, western armies gain a significant advantage in combat. Because you will see your enemy faster than he sees you so that we can save more lives for our soldiers.