How Does Light Amplification Work for Night Vision?

May 18, 2023
How Does Light Amplification Work for Night Vision, How Does Light Amplification Work for Night Vision?, Steele Industries Inc

As you probably already know, night vision devices help humans see in the dark. Using high-quality night-vision scopes or goggles, you can see animals, objects, and humans hundreds of yards away at night.

This technology also allows you to record videos and take photographs of objects you typically wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye in the dark.

There are two primary types, optoelectronic image enhancement, and digital image enhancement, that allow you to see in the dark.

Optoelectronic Image Enhancement

From thermal imaging devices to infrared light technology, most older night vision devices utilize optoelectronic image enhancement technology, which employs a series of optical lenses and a unique electronic vacuum tube to collect and amplify infrared and visible light reflected off objects.

The primary lens, referred to as the objective lens, collects the dim visible light reflecting from the first object, in addition to smaller quantities of light from the lower end of the infrared light spectrum. This captures ambient light, composed of tiny particles known as photons that appear on the light spectrum.

After the photons pass through the objective lens, they enter an image-intensifier tube, a special electronic vacuum tube powered by small batteries.

The image-intensifier tube is composed of two parts. The first part of the image-intensifier tube is called the photocathode, which converts the photons into electrons. The newly-composed electrons pass electrical energy into the second part of the tub, called the microchannel plate (MCP). The MCP consists of a tiny glass disc with millions of small holes that multiply the number of electrons. By multiplying the number of electrons, the electrical signal is amplified significantly.

The exiting electrons then encounter a phosphor-coated screen, which lights up and creates a glowing green or white image when hit. This image is considerably brighter than the dim focused light that initially entered the objective lens. The ocular lens allows you to view the phosphor image and, if desired, magnify it. This is how the older version of night vision works.

Digital Image Enhancement

How does night vision work? Most night vision goggles utilize a digital version of the old-fashioned optoelectronic image enhancement technology.

Using digital enhancement technology allows manufacturers to produce a lighter-weight, smaller digital night vision device with better image quality and depth perception night vision. Such devices are typically more versatile and easier to carry outside.

These don’t use thermal imaging. With digital night vision devices, the available light collected by the objective lens is transformed into a digital signal using a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor in a night vision camera, like those found in digital cameras.

This digital image is electronically enhanced and magnified multiple times before it is sent to an LCD display. Larger CMOS sensors produce higher-resolution images, and many devices now allow users to record full 1080p HD videos.

Popular Night Vision Devices

Most devices designed to enhance viewing in low or dark-light environments rely on some sort of night vision technology. Scopes are some of the most popular and widely available pieces of night vision equipment. Scopes are telescopic sighting devices that allow users to view far-away images they normally wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye in complete darkness.

Some scopes are freestanding or mountable (this allows them to attach to firearms and other devices). 

A Wide Range of Night Vision Devices

Here at Steele Industries, our night vision goggles work better. We offer many types of night vision performance devices for a variety of uses. We have a revolving inventory, so you will always have access to the most up-to-date night vision unit devices, and we can even craft customized solutions for you and your company. Contact us today to learn more.