Talk:Night vision device

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Gen2/ Gen3 systems[edit]

Just a note - I removed the XD-4 link from "Systems."
Three reasons -
1) XD-4 is not a system - it's a tube manufactured by DEP Photonis.
2) It's not Gen3. It's Gen2. Both the XD-4 and the XR5 which replace it are Gen2. They have a Gen2 photocathode and do not use an ion barrier film.
The most important part there is that they use the Gen2 photocathode, which limits the sensitivity in the near-IR region (see the datasheets!!!)
The result of this is that although both the XD-4 and XR5 are exceptional tubes and outperform most Gen3 tubes in urban conditions, in rural dark areas they do not have the ability to make the most of starlight...
If anyone doubts this, please the DATASHEETS. XD-4 and XR5 both show significant loss of sensitivity at 800 and 850 and has a very low sensitivity at 2850K compared to even basic Gen3, which has almost double this.
Manufacturer Datasheets: —Preceding unsigned comment added by David kitson (talkcontribs) 23:09, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Also, With respect to Gen IV, XR5 is NOT gen 4. See reasoning above. It's Gen2. Autogating does not make a tube Gen3 or Gen4. The article is correct in what it defines as being "Gen III" and most of what it says about Gen IV.
As for gating, that's been going on since Microchannel Plates were developed. See Microchannel Plate Inverter Image Intensifiers by C- Bruce Johnson, C E Catchpole and Calvin C Matle (Published in IEEE Transactions on electron devices, Vol ED-18, No11, Nov 1971).
Even back then they were talking about gating the input, and these tubes featured auto-protective circuits back in 1971!!!!
Autogating isn't new. It just hasn't been widely used in the military and isn't a part of any GEN requirement.

The details on GenIV also need some "tweaking" - I'll try get around to that later when I have some references.


"There are currently goggles that combine both of these technologies to create images that are almost as clear as day." Both of which technologies? The article lists three.--SpacemanAfrica 19:13, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

I have removed the third example (heat-sensing), since these are generally not considered night vision devices according to the Night vision article itself. However I'm not sure if the sentence refers to the 2 remaining technologies. Squalla 20:04, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Active goggles giving away position?[edit]

I have not found anything about it, but I would guess that active goggles would show an enemy where the user was (similar to using a flash light/electric torch). This would require another set of night vision goggles or just an IR camera. --Midnightcomm 03:06, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I seem to recall a Military Channel documentary saying the same thing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

I know nothing about this topic but I've always wondered why no one sees Sam Fisher and the 3 green lights on his head saying "please aim and shoot at my brain".

The three lights on Sam's head are for the player to indentify Sam's location. If it were real, he would not glow (same for the radio on his back, and the OPSAT on his wrist).

The 4x targetscope of the common soviet block SVD Dragunov sniper rifle has a special filter film insert, which will produce a visible bright dot where an infrared emitter is radiating, so the shooter can put out the illuminator with a well-aimed bullet. 13:03, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Active Gives your position away its pretty much common knowledge even a Cheap webcam can detect the beam from an active NV —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:23, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I'll second that. "Active" systems use a flashlight or LED/Laser in the IR region outside of our sight range. However anyone with a goggle/NVD can see them so it's pretty common knowledge that this gives you away if the "enemy" has NVDs. And since NVDs can see light for a long way, it's worse than people realise.

Most military NVD riflescopes have a rubber boot around the eyepiece that limits the amount of light that escapes from the back. That's because even the light from the eyepiece can give you away. When you take your eye away from the eyepiece, it closes, cutting off the light.

Active systems giving you away is not only common knowledge, it's well documented. That's why the US army developed the AN/PVS-1 and AN/PVS-2 - "Passive" night vision riflescopes to replace the older active systems. —Preceding unsigned comment added by David kitson (talkcontribs) 23:19, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

A Link to a statement of this - [[1]] David kitson (talk) 02:15, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Move page?[edit]

I thing that this page should be moved to Night Vision Device or Night vision device. It is a more accurate and inclusive description. Also the part about fluid replacements seems unnecessary. Any thoughts? Tmaull 18:31, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

A Few Notes[edit]

I have commented out several sections from a previous edit by User:Bruno_Timpano. I believe they do not fall within the subject matter of this page and belong elsewhere. I haven't deleted them, they are still available. However, does anyone think they should stay? What reasons? Also, most of Bruno's edits were uncited, although many appear to be likely. Any verification of this information would be appreciated. Thanks, Tmaull 17:41, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Gen 4 goggles?[edit]

I've seen several reputable shops offering GEN IV goggles. Is that the Omnibus Gen VII System? Tierlieb (talk) 11:30, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Yeah. Gen I, II, and III are terms defined by the US Military. Gen IV has not been defined by them, but some commercial outfits think that the later Omnibus systems are so advanced over the Gen III that they deserve a new generation. The consensus here as been to wait until the military designates them as such, although the differences between the later Omnibus systems and the early Gen III systems have been discussed. --Tmaull (talk) 17:28, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Legality for hunting[edit]

Well, I can confirm that NVD are considered "artificial illumination" in Norway - where I hunt - and are thus illegal for all hunting purposes, with the very minor exception of fox hunting by baiting (where illumination is traditional and thus allowed). I doubt the sources could be dug up in English easily, but it is nonetheless a matter of fact. (talk) 00:28, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Here in Hungary all electron-optics are banned for night hunting as unethical, except lightbulb-illuminated reticles in traditional optical rifle scopes. You are not even allowed to observe the landscape with a handheld NVG binocular while hunting. This has bad safety implications. (talk) 22:36, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Picture of a soldier[edit]

Theres a picture of a soldier with a weapon mounted sight and the caption says it's a night vision device. To me it looks more like an ordinary Elcan produced optical scope M145 that US Army uses on machine guns. Elcan also produces a night vision device SpecterNV3.0x that looks a bit similar, but I don't think the device in the picure is it. Should the picture be removed? -- (talk) 16:46, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

paragraph under subtitle "passive"[edit]

It's actually the introduction to the next main section about generations. Looks like somebody's overwritten the passive paragraph accidentally. I'm not familiar with the process of retrieving from old pages so I'll leave it to somone else. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:54, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Usage? Misunderstanding![edit]

The connection of NVG and medic lights in the cabin is misunderstandable. The NVGs are not worn to allow the medics to operate with bright light! The NVGs are worn to allow the crew to fly without external lighting! In contrary: any light reflections (maybe only partly) onto the cockpit dashboard from any lights in the cabin (especially bright lights) would highly disturb the pilots, as these light reflections are highly amplified by the NVGs!

Sacrificial lenses?[edit]

In the sentence "Many NVDs also include sacrificial lenses, IR illuminators, and telescopic lenses.": what are these sacrificial lenses? We asked our pilots, and they never heard of it... An explanation is needed! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

The article probably wanted to say "spherical" lenses, pretty obvious. (talk) 22:32, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Sacrificial lenses are pretty common. It's a cheap "lens cover" that is transparent... Then if you dive face-first into the sand or a bush, go walking out during a sandstorm etc, you don't go scratching up your objective lens... You just swap out the sacrificial lens and it's all as good as new ! :) I use these on my cameras, so it's not exactly a new idea... David kitson (talk) 02:24, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


As a resident of England in the United Kingdom and user of image intensifier night vision equipment I can say that at no time have I found any artical of legality in Great Britain prohibiting the use of any class of these devices. Over 30 yaers I have used such equipment as a soldier and civilian, and indeed I now use a 300 milliwatt laser to illuminate the viewed object. There may be restrictions of usage in other European countries pertaining to night vision devices and illuminators but this certainly does not apply in the United Kingdom. The laser I use to illuminate is a class 111B which is more than capable of burning dark objects at close range, but again this is not illegal within Great Britain. It is also worth noting that a laser of this power can be too bright for practical use at close range, that is to say, less than 50 metres (about 150 yards) With regard to battle field use, my experence is that great care must be taken when viewing the objective since the green glow reflected from the tube to the observer is easily seen and can compromise the user's position. This also applies to the use of illuminators, while some are truly infrared, and not visible to the naked eye, older image intensifiers of generation 1 type, and some generation 2 type, require an illuminator that is more toward the "red" end of the light spectrum, and therefore easily seen by another person using image intensifier equipment. It is more functional for anyone wishing to take advantage of the darkness to allow around 20 minutes for their eyes to adjust to the dark, and indeed, one will notice a large difference between each eye at night if using a night vision monocular, the green light emitted from the tube tends to render one eye nearly useless for some time after viwing through a night vision device.. Colonel jones (talk) 11:46, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Here is Hungary the restriction against Gen 2,3,4 ownership is strictly enforced. Civilians can buy a gen1+ device like the russian import "Baigish-12", but gen2 tube "Baigish-6" or anything better is beyond reach for private customers. The first-gen Baigish-12 is good enough, the hungarian border guard used it in service, but a gen2 or gen3 device will see 3x-5x further, even on nights with no moon and that does make a difference. (talk) 22:31, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
And as a German and a resident of Germany, employed in a law firm, I can say there is absolutely no law restricting German citizens from possession of any IR device. -- (talk) 09:23, 24 August 2009 (UTC)
Hungary is probably the exception, as these days the government is extremely paranoid about "terrorism" (actually, a potential uprising of the increasingly poor and hopeless people against the government, which consists mainly of former Commies), and takes early steps against it. This affects not only modern night vision devices, but also, for example, military camouflages and bug detectors. Also, now even the import of dual-use goods is regulated - unlike any other EU country. Recently I learned that the almost total ban of guns for citizens took place directly after the revolution of 1956, so no wonder. -- (talk) 23:37, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Wrong choice what to redirect where[edit]

I came to this article from one on fluoroscopy, after clicking on a link for "image intensifier", which redirected to "Night vision device". Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but a night vision device is a *subset* of image intensifiers. Wouldn't it make more sense to have an article on image intensifiers, with a section in it on night vision devices as one particular application of image intensification? Critterkeeper (talk) 05:11, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I've just created an initial stub for Image Intensifier which will can deal with those specifically. While NVDs are closely associated with IITs, NVDs does not really cover IITs, nor possibly should it. David kitson (talk) 14:44, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Propagandapedia or Wikipedia?[edit]

"The first night vision devices, the M1 and M3 infrared night sighting devices, also known as the "sniperscope" or "snooperscope", were introduced by the US Army in World War II, and also used in the Korean War, to assist snipers.[1] They were active devices, using a large infrared light source to illuminate targets. Their image intensifier tubes function using an anode and an S-1 photocathode, made primarily of silver, caesium, and oxygen to accelerate the electrons.[2]"

What US infrared devices you are talking about? Do you have any further or more detailed information? Or are you talking about the infrared devices that were captured (stolen) in Germany? Like the passive (?) "Uhu" (?) device for sniper rifles, captured in early 1945 and immediately shipped to the Pacific battlefield for use by US snipers on the island of Okinawa?

"Nazi Germany"

Your propaganda speak really doesn't benefit to underline your seriousness! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Deleting referenced content without discussion is just vandalism, so I've reverted it. Germany was far from unique in this research - also look at the British "Tabby" system. These early systems were insensitive and so either only detected warm objects (U-boat exhaust) or were used for convoy driving with deliberate IR marker lights. The German system's major difference was in having an active illuminating lamp.
This needs rewriting, but deleting blocks is NOT the way to go forwards. Read the literature, cite the good refs (and please, lets use decent sources here, not coffee table history books). Andy Dingley (talk) 20:11, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
"Germany was far from unique in this research " - LOL ... any effort is made to discredit foreign inventors. Time for a British Wikipedia, which would most probably not degenerate to an US propaganda page. --09:27, 24 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Why is this argument even going on? KezianAvenger 15:13, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I have no idea where this argument originated. The S1 photocathode and subsequent infrared converter tubes existed well before the onset of WW2. All countries did their own development of this technology and while the Germans arguably did the most research ( early unsuccessful attempts at cascade tubes ) and the US tubes were possibly the least developed, it is a fact that the US had the most success with using this technology during WW2. That's not to say that captured technology couldn't have been used by the US in other theaters of war at the time, but the US were primarily using US designed equipment in Okinawa by all accounts, which was possibly inferior to German equipment of the era.

The irony here is that while the UK and Germany had the lead with this technology at the time, the US found a better way to use it. This is possibly an element that should be included in the main article, because even after passive night vision was developed, there was some question as to whether it actually contributed to mission objectives at all during the Vietnam War era. It was heavy, unwieldly and left the weapon all but unusable during the day.

It wasn't until the recent Gulf War that night vision because a major component of military tactics - Nearly a century AFTER they were developed... There's something very very significant to that timespan if you think about it. It took serious developments in Generation 2 night vision to reach that point.

There are other NVD facts that are missed too, such as the russian sniper scope's passive "sunlight recharded" IR conversion films that allowed snipers to passively see the active beams of US Gen0 sniper scopes. In fact, the military side of NVD use and the reasons for it taking so long to become a valuable tool are almost an article by themselves. This is still highlighted by the fact that armies around the world are now struggling to catch up with the US and widely issue night vision equipment to their soldiers - in that respect, the changes are very recent and still ongoing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:41, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Why is the picture not upside down?[edit]

Does this tube turn the picture upside down? Why not?

The article does a very poor job in describing how these things work. As I understand it, the structure of the device is someway similar to the optics in a single-lens reflex camera, with light projected on a focusing screen by the primary optics and viewed through the viewfinder optics. To compensate for the inversing effect of the camera obscura, camera viewfinders uses a prism to rotate the image. Do night vision devices have similar structures? If so, shouldn't they be described in this article? -- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:03, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the objective lens causes the first inversion. The fiber twist ( see in image ) mechanically rotates the image a further 180 degrees. It's a bundle of glass fibers that has a 180 degree twist in it. I'll add something to the article. David Kitson — Preceding unsigned comment added by David kitson (talkcontribs) 11:56, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

View through NVGs[edit]

This article does not contain images of what a person can expect to see while wearing NVGs. (talk) 05:01, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Very good point. I'll add some comparisons. Perhaps some generational comparisons between Gen1, Gen2 and Gen3. David Kitson.

I had a link for a demonstrator based on the PHOTONIS product line only but at least it gives an idea... Medou12 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Medou12 (talkcontribs) 09:42, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Fourth-generation LUCIE?[edit]

There are 2 pictures mentioning "LUCIE" and describing it as fourth-generation. This article clearly states that there is not a 4th generation and no where is explained what a lucie is. Can someone clarify or perhaps we should remove the pictures all together?  FrostedΔ14  16:48, 24 June 2012 (UTC)


To what extent does this technology allow someone to see in the middle of the night or in otherwise very dark conditions? How much "light gain" is there? I came to this article hoping to find information about these and similar questions but found no answer. Some TV programs (documentaries) use night vision cameras, but sometimes it seems to me to be a gimmick, to add some drama to an otherwise tame program. If the military use this technology, I guess it is useful, but can the usefulness and the gain be quantified? Thanks to all the editors. AugustinMa (talk) 13:34, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Article has been over-run by commercial interests and is no longer unbiased or accurate[edit]

Several recent updates over the past 6 months ( specifically the "Comparison between leading US and European technology" and information on CORE technology, which is just a new brand of Gen1 tube ) are simply marketing information and contain opinion and not fact. I'll leave this for discussion for a couple of weeks, then set around cleaning up what is there. The information appears to be related to pushing "Photonis" technology and "Armasight" products. Some of the information may be accurate, but lacks citations. Other information is grossly inaccurate and needs to be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:{{{1}}}|{{{1}}}]] ([[User talk:{{{1}}}|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/{{{1}}}|contribs]])

I've removed as many WP:BROCHURE instances as I could find, and cleaned up confusing parts that resulted from their absence. A bot detected this as vandalism, but hopefully the most recent edit will stick... Stochtastic (talk) 16:27, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Why is everything green?[edit]

I don't even see the word green when I use CTRL-F.

I was looking in several articles to see why the color in Riot (TV series) is different from the color I usually see when someone is using night vision technology on TV or in a movie I am watching on TV.— Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 18:20, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Is this the place to add the answer to the question? I received some answers here but nothing that I feel I can work with yet.— Vchimpanzee • talk • contributions • 19:35, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


The article's title is "Night vision device". "night [sic] vision device" is used throughout the article when discussing the generic term. Why, then, is the term capitalized in the lead as Night Vision Device? And why do my edits to alter the capitalization to adhere to the stylistic standard keep getting reverted with no explanation whatsoever? (talk) 17:35, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

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First Image caption makes no sense[edit]

"A U.S. Army aviator uses a pair of helmet-mounted AN/AVS-6 vision goggles. The effect on the natural night vision of the eye is evident" What does the last sentence mean? It's not evident to me? Thank you. L3X1 (distant write) 18:51, 22 April 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference autogenerated4 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^