Difference Between Night Vision Generations


Night vision devices have been used for a long time and different purposes. For hunting, protecting their territory, and military and law enforcement purposes. To facilitate tasks, robots are designed at night, searching for someone, night vision sights, or thermal or infrared lighting. In low light or night lighting, these devices distinguish objects, objects, and terrain and help to become more noticeable. This is a perfect and helpful thing. In the arsenal of the military, there is essential equipment because at night, to complete a combat mission, you can easily track down an enemy, a car disguised; in a word, see “everything.” Night equipment is a handy tool for the military and law enforcement. After all, with its help, you can perform complex tasks, defend yourself, be alert and, most importantly, be invisible to others. See everything, remain invisible to the enemy, and be ready for all his actions. Special equipment is installed on the warrior’s helmet. There are also additional lenses that help to see complete darkness. Usually, the image has the same green color. Night vision has been used for a very long time and has been improved all the time, and there are already several generations of night vision devices. And today we will try to tell you about the difference between generations, and exciting things about them.

What is the difference between the generations of night vision devices?

In most cases, you will be answered on the technical side, such as the difference in ion barriers, gallium arsenide, photocathodes, microchannel plates, etc. But we will tell you about each generation, and when you read each, you will not see the difference between them. For example, you will know the performance difference, visibility range, brightness, image quality, etc.

Gen 1. The first generation of night vision was born in the 1960s. There weren’t even telephones back then, a computer was the size of a small house, and night vision already existed. The maximum illumination range becomes about 75 yards for the first generation. This is not bad at all. The image quality is not very good; the brightness is not very high. Gen 1 cannot operate passively; it relies on built-in infrared illuminators that are always on, so anyone using the same night vision can easily see you. Ideal for short distances and best for the average person who wants to experience night vision. The first generation cannot be equipped on a weapon, on a military helmet, but used in the hands. The duration of the first generation is not very long, only 1500 hours, after which the device fails. The first generation first-generation technology is not that expensive. First-generation technology is not that expensive and ideal for the average person on a small budget. Some first-generation night vision monoculars can fetch between $100 and $400. First used by the military on the example of the Starlight sight. They were the best of their time and helped the military navigate at night and do their jobs. Of course, the second generation has become much better and has excellent qualities, such as image transmission has become much better, and it has ceased to be blurry.

Gen 2. This is a big step forward; it differs from the previous generation. It is so much better in terms of performance; it is almost like the third generation than the first. This generation can image at least 200 yards, depending on the model. The image becomes brighter and better, cleaner than in the first generation. And all because microchannel plates were added to this generation. It can also be called an image intensifier. After this modification, the light transmission improved, the image became better visible, and the brightness increased. It is possible to work passively without infrared illumination. There is no image distortion, only an entire field of view. Battery life has become more reliable and durable than in the first generation. Monoculars of the second generation are much more versatile than the first due to their durability and, adaptability, image transmission. There are different types of the second generation, for example, night vision goggles, made for tracking hunting and various military tasks at night, or night vision scopes, used to complete weapons and better shooting in dark weather, night vision monoculars and binoculars, also have the same purpose as ordinary binoculars and monoculars, but you can only use them at night. So let’s move on to the third generation.

Gen 3. In technology, the third generation is becoming the golden mean. The US military forces and Special Forces are now using the third generation for combat missions and reconnaissance. The most extended image transmission range is a minimum of 300 yards, depending on the night vision model: the best, high-quality image transmission and, most importantly, bright and clean. This generation is best suited in low light because it can work much better passively and without infrared illumination. Good versatility and good performance when used with zoom lenses, cameras, and other similar night vision devices. Good night vision scopes help military snipers navigate well at night and do their job without problems. As well as night vision goggles, they do a good job and help US special forces in special missions, surveillance, and movement at night. The third generation has the best duration of work; it is ten thousand hours of the best and most durable result. This device will last a very long with reasonable care and will not force you to change it quickly. Since it is said above that the military and special units use this generation, it is considered the best in terms of price and quality.

Gen 4. This is the last generation which technically does not exist. The US military abandoned it because it did not fit their standard. After the release of this generation, the military tested it, and they did not like it; they decided to leave the previous generation as it was more suitable for them for their work. They used film-free technology and an auto-closing power supply. This slightly improved the photo transmission system and performance at night. Although the military abandoned this generation, it has remained at a reasonable level and remains the best at this time. Incredible image clarity and target detection just got even better. Now some companies that make night vision goggles use the fourth generation name only as a marketing gimmick to make money. Now, under the name of the fourth generation, new devices are used called “Unfilmed” or “Filmless Gen 3”. Yes, they use some materials from the fourth generation, but it’s hard to call them because these are just improvements and improvements from the third generation.

White phosphor technology (WPT).

This technology is available for any generation of night vision. The image is different because the color is not traditionally green and black but black and white. These colors make it possible to see better and appear more natural. In some situations, such an image will become more visible, brighter and more contrast than with a green tint. They are used in Gen 3 Unfilmed. Compared to green, black and white give better contrast, and the picture becomes much more accurate than green. This way, you can turn night into day. And most people, military and special forces, will choose this white phosphor technology. Now, this technology is almost not used by ordinary people; it is used only by the military. But several devices can be purchased. These are the ATN PVS14/6015 tactical monocular and the ATN NVM-14, ATN Mars4x, and ATN Mars6x multifunctional pocket sight/glasses for medium and long range. It is mainly used for special operations and military and rescue missions.


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