Turning Night Into Day - Night Vision Goggles

Night Vision Googles

The human eye needs a certain amount of available light to see anything at all. Some animals, like cats and owls, can see much better in darkness because their pupils are large enough to take in more available light than the human eye can.

How Does Night Vision Work?

There are two basic methods of night vision. Light-amplifying night vision devices work on a pretty simple concept. The lenses on night vision goggles, for example, work by collecting available light energy, or photons, and converting it to electrical energy, or electrons.

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The electrical energy is multiplied and when it strikes a phosphor screen in the device’s image intensifier tube, the electrons are converted to light. These devices basically enable the human eye to gather more available light, much in the way cats and owls can. Thermal imaging works by detecting the heat given off by objects, animals and people. The heat appears as light at the upper end of the infrared light spectrum, not detectable by the human eye. Thermal-imaging night vision converts that heat to an image called a thermogram.

What Are Some Uses for Night Vision?

Security Personnel use night vision to scan surroundings at night to protect property from intruders.

Search and Rescue Teams use night vision to locate lost people in low-light situations.

• In Natural Disaster situations, public safety personnel use night vision devices to help them see when power goes out for extended periods.

• Night vision is a helpful tool for students of wildlife behavior, so they can remain undetected while observing nocturnal species.

Night Hunting or Fishing Night vision devices can help you see your surroundings, and find animals. Some hunting and fishing gear is equipped with night vision devices specifically for nighttime use.

Ghost Hunting and Paranormal Research Ghost hunters have to find their way through dark homes and buildings. Sometimes these buildings are abandoned and can be dangerous without the aid of light-amplifying or infrared devices. Night vision is often used to detect paranormal activity.