|AN/PSQ-20 Enhanced Night Vision Goggles|
Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG), AN/PSQ-20.
|Place of origin||United States|
|Weight||2 pounds (0.91 kg) (approx.)|
|Cont Operation (hrs)||7.5 hours|
|Mode of Operation||Passive|
|Field Of Vision||28 degrees (IR)
38 degrees (II)
The AN/PSQ-20 Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG) is a monocular passive night vision device developed for the United States military by ITT Exelis. It fuses image-intensifying and thermal-imaging technologies, enabling vision in conditions with very little light. The two methods can be used simultaneously or individually. Selected by the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office Soldier ( http://vimeo.com/4532787 ) as a supporting device for the Future Force Warrior program in 2004, it is intended to replace AN/PVS-7 and AN/PVS-14 systems currently in use. Although more expensive and heavier than these devices, special forces units and the 10th Mountain Division were fielding the AN/PSQ-20 by mid-2009. Improvements to the product have been attempted to make it lighter, as well as to enable transmission of digital images to and from the battlefield.
In August 2003, The Program Executive Office Soldier (PEO Soldier), the acquisition agency of the United States Army, started evaluating designs from ITT Industries and Northrop Grumman for an advanced night vision device that could support the planned Future Force Warrior program. Of the two competing designs, the ITT design which was developed in association with Raytheon, was chosen for development in July 2004 with an initial order for 75 systems. Development testing of the ENVG with the army, designated AN/PSQ-20, began by mid-2006, which was completed in March 2007. Operational testing started in June 2007, with low-rate initial production of the device beginning around the same time. ITT were given a five-year contract in April 2005 with a potential value of $560 million, with the view of replacing the existing AN/PVS-7 and AN/PVS-14.
Design and features
The AN/PSQ-20 Enhanced Night Vision Goggle combines image intensifier (I2 or II) and infra-red (IR, also called thermal imaging) technologies, and is the first night vision device to do so. Before this "fusing", these two technologies could only be used separately. The AN/PSQ-20 allows both methods to be used together or individually, and can be helmet-mounted or hand held. It is roughly the same size as the AN/PVS-14 with similar controls, and is powered by four AA type batteries allowing continuous combined use of II and IR for 7.5 hours. The device can be used for a further 7.5 hours in II mode.
Classified as a third-generation passive night vision device, the AN/PSQ-20 can provide vision through thermal imaging even in situations where there isn't enough ambient light for the image intensifiers, thus eliminating the need for infra-red illumination (active night vision). It can also see through battlefield obscurants such as smoke and fog. The combined technologies allow better target identification and recognition, thereby improving the soldier's mobility and situational awareness. The center of gravity of the device is close to the face of the wearer, making the helmet-mounted use more comfortable, as well as increasing stability. Aiming lasers can also be integrated with it. However, at a unit cost of $18,000 and with a weight of almost 2 pounds (0.91 kg), the AN/PSQ-20 is more expensive and heavier than the devices it is intended to replace.
Service and improvements
The AN/PSQ-20 ENVG was first issued to the US Army in April 2008. The 10th Mountain Division received about 300 units in February 2009, making it the first non-special forces unit to use the device.
PM Soldier Sensors and Lasers, which is part of PEO Soldier, has been working on making the AN/PSQ-20 more rugged by using tougher housing material. Efforts have also been made to make the device lighter, as well as to produce and transmit digital images of the view provided. As a result, a prototype named Digital Enhanced Night Vision Goggle or ENVG (D) was provided to the army for evaluation in June 2009, which enables digitally fused images to be exported and imported.
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