Night vision is a technology used in glasses or goggles, in binoculars, weapons and in some high end cameras as well. Today, there are night vision gaming goggles available as well but they are quite expensive. You may wonder if night vision actually works or if it is only in the movies and video games that you get such a wonderful technology.
Night vision is very much a reality and it is quite simple to understand how it works. Night vision works on two concepts – spotting the infrared spectrum or infrared imaging and thermal imaging. In simple words, infrared imaging involves spotting the tiny infrared light sources that may be existent in a place but since it is not viewable by the naked eye, one is unable to see anything in a very dark place. These dots of infrared light are then used by night vision lenses to form an image.
Thermal imaging is also very simple to understand. Every object has a heat map. Cold objects don’t have any heat maps and humans have a much stronger heat map in comparison with trees and inanimate objects. When a body emits heat, this heat is used to form an image by night vision goggles. Thus, it will not be wrong to state that there are infrared night vision lenses and thermal imaging night vision lenses.
There are some night vision devices that can use both technologies, alternating between them or simultaneously to provide a more holistic vision in the dark. You may wonder how night vision creates the images when all it gets is a beam of infrared light and heat maps or temperatures pattern creating a thermogram. Any night vision equipment has a system that works on image enhancement. Once the beam of infrared light, which are essentially photons, or the thermal images are obtained which are essentially a heat map or a pattern of temperatures, the entire image is conceived and then the image is enhanced.
During the image enhancement process, the night vision technology uses green light to make every image that it records clearer and cognisable. Not every night vision device can do this. In those that cannot enhance this image, you will get to see pale, dark and blackish images. With image enhancement, the images will appear brighter than they are and will have a green tinge which has been used during the enhancement process.
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