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When we start talking about night vision technology, the first thing that comes to mind is hunting using night vision and thermal binoculars, monoculars and scopes. And this is quite natural because NV devices have long been integrated into our lives. Devices based on this invention and thermal imaging devices are actively and successfully used in many industries, from medicine to construction.
But because we live in peacetime, sometimes the most important functions of these devices elude us, thanks largely to which we can live in safety. Moreover, the army and military equipment make the US army the strongest and most technologically advanced army on the planet. Therefore, night vision devices in the army and security services are an essential element that should never be neglected.
Everything is straightforward. The night was out of reach for the military several decades ago. The inability to identify not only objects but also to see the landscape's features made any actions and maneuvers impossible. Not only and not so much for offensive operations but also the correct building of the defense. The enemy could carry out sorties to the rear in small groups, destroying soldiers and conducting sabotage. And to identify them, the sentries and observers had only a couple of meters directly in front of them.
The presence of up-to-date technologies and innovative developments blur the line between night and day. Blind spots are becoming archaisms. And the sentry, provided with night vision goggles, can conduct quality surveillance at any time. This not only saves lives but also deprives the enemy of any desire to attack the object.
That is why our military can say frankly: "We own the night."
It was with this that the victorious gait of night vision systems began. Actually, the first weak and bulky device, which could amplify a weak light signal and visualize the observation location, was developed for the British air defense. The development and its development became so successful that during WWII, the British were forced to come up with amazing legends explaining why anti-aircraft gun operators see enemy aircraft so well. Therefore, there was a myth that carrots improve vision. However, the increase in the amount of this vegetable in the soldiers' diet that the command explained the accuracy of determining the enemy's equipment at night. In fact, the reason was revolutionary night vision devices and radars.
A terrible and brutal war was the reason that gave impetus to engineering and scientific thought. Both the Allied troops and the Nazis pushed forward the development of devices that could advantage during nighttime battles. The Germans were the first to make a significant leap forward and began to blur the line between "zero" and the first generation of night vision devices. In the last third of the war, German equipment was equipped with large, heavy, energy-consuming devices that allowed them to win deafening, albeit local, victories over the communists.
All these developments inevitably led to a reduction in components and the introduction of innovative technologies. That is, night vision devices were getting smaller and cheaper. And, during the Vietnam War, we can talk about the widespread military use of devices. The United States has always been at the forefront of developing unique devices, and the army has always been the first test of inventions.
Today, all American technology is equipped with night vision systems. Strictly speaking, NV devices today are not the most amazing device that equipment is equipped with. But, in some moments, it is simply irreplaceable. And, there is absolutely no difference where it is installed. Or on a Humvee or the heavy tank - there is only one goal. And, it succeeds. Achieve optimal results while minimizing losses.
It is quite logical that this section will not talk about night vision devices on airplanes. Of course, this does not mean that they are not equipped with it. But, you yourself understand that it is not too critical for an airplane flying at incredible speed to consider the environment. At the same time, some types of strike aircraft use NV systems. This is especially true of attack aircraft and, in general, aviation, capable of fighting in the sky. In this case, night vision, combined with sensitive electronics and navigation, turns the celestial machine into an all-seeing predator.
But, in this technique, night vision devices are more likely an addition than priority equipment. But in helicopters, the role of such equipment is much greater. A heavy machine with a relatively low speed and can move horizontally and vertically becomes practically blind at night. In this case, even a few powerful searchlights will not be enough to navigate in space. But, if the helicopter pilot is equipped with night vision goggles, then navigating in the sky and landing is not much more difficult than during the day.
It is only natural that the requirements for night vision devices in aviation must meet much more specific requirements than, say, your NV scope or binocular. For example, sensitivity, image quality, response - with low values of these parameters, the cost of an error may be too high.
And finally, let's mention drones and military crewless aircraft. You've probably seen these recordings. In black and white is a video from a drone that destroys a terrorist camp or their convoy. This is exactly what we are talking about. The drone operator can freely navigate in space and perform his duty efficiently, eliminating the danger of attendant losses among the civilian population. All thanks to night vision.
Surely, you yourself understand that not only technology needs the ability to see in the dark. But, moreover, for the sol-date, this opportunity is often even more important than for the tank crew. That is why night vision devices, in all their variety, are in the outfit of almost all fighters operating in combat conditions.
This applies not only to special forces and anti-terrorist groups, which have weapons and equipment of the most relevant generations at their disposal. Naturally, this gives an undeniable advantage in the fight against criminals. But, most importantly, even the rank and file of the army have access to night vision devices.
All types of devices: monoculars, binoculars, telescopic systems, night vision goggles. All this is actively used by soldiers and has long become familiar to everyone, has entered popular culture thanks to action films and video games.
Just imagine, a sentry wearing night-vision goggles can perform his duties much more efficiently. And, after all, the lives of his comrades depend on his actions. Night vision scopes also have an obvious meaning and allow for meaningful and targeted fire.
Thanks to scientific and engineering achievements, all this is a reality of today. What seemed fantastic yesterday is just a familiar situation for us. And only one question remains - where will progress lead us? Indeed, at this very moment, our troops are already testing new, unique fourth-generation night vision devices and devices that do not fall under the classification of generations.
You can find more interesting information about night vision here:
Night vision for a shotgun
Night vision optics in the army
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