An FAA study found that when properly used and with proper aviation NVG repair and maintenance, NVGs increase safety, enhance situational awareness, and reduce pilot workload and stress typically associated with night operations.
Night vision devices were initially used in World War II and came into wider use during the Vietnam War, primarily to locate enemy targets at night. The technology has advanced greatly since its introduction, resulting in several “generations” of night vision equipment with price decreasing and performance increasing.
The Science Behind Night Vision
Our night vision systems convert low- or no-light scenes to bright, precise images in a series of steps:
The monocular lens gathers light from the visible spectrum and also near infrared, which cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Those light particles, photons, are focused on an image intensifier where a photocathode absorbs their energy and converts them into electrons.
Electrons are moved through a microchannel plate, where they are multiplied nearly 70,000 times.
The multiplied electrons are drawn to a phosphor screen, where they strike and excite the phosphor. In a process similar to that of a television’s cathode ray tube, the phosphor screen projects illuminated, detailed views of a user’s nightscape environment.
The advantages of this night vision technology in aviation can be summarized as an increase in nighttime situational awareness for pilots. This technology does not turn night into day but permits the user to see objects that normally would not be seen by the unaided eye.
Many benefits exist for night vision devices, but the bottom line is that this technology, when properly used and with the right aviation NVG repair and maintenance, has the potential to increase nighttime flying safety significantly.
The aviation industry routinely performs pre-operational checks on almost everything they do. Flight crews conduct a thorough pre-flight inspection that includes checking fluid levels, condition/security of components, and mission equipment to determine the airworthiness status prior to flight.
Law enforcement officers conduct pre-operational checks on their personal equipment, such as function checks and routine cleaning of their weapons, to ensure they will fire correctly when or if needed. Air medical crewmembers conduct routine calibrations and operational checks on medical equipment to ensure proper operation when attending to a critical patient.
Inspection Process & Purpose Aviator night vision imaging systems (ANVIS) are a wonderful tool for aircrew members to increase situational awareness and enhance flight safety. Most aviation organizations with night vision goggles are aware of having ANVIS serviced every 180 days per manufacturer recommendations; however, most are unaware of the inspection process or purpose. The 180-day service inspection serves as an in-depth inspection, service, and functionality test completed by certified and experienced ANVIS maintenance technicians.
This inspection includes the following:
Current Draw – Checks the acceptable amount of current.
Continuity – Checks the power supply and electrical harness.
Image Quality – Checks for the following:
- Shading – Dark area beginning at the edge and eventually moving inward.
- Image Distortion – Checks each monocular within parameters and does not detract from normal performance.
- Gain – Check the luminance gain is within the parameters.
- Gain Differential – Checks if the ratio between monocular luminance gains is within parameters.
- Resolution – System check measured at different light levels for minimum cycles per milliradian.
- Infinity Focus – Checks objective lens design to adjust from close focus through infinity.
- Diopter Settings – Checks diopter marks are within parameters.
- Purge – Replaces proper nitrogen levels, which reduces moisture within the monocular.
- Chicken Wire – Irregular pattern of thin dark lines.
- Veiling Glare – Reflections/glare in the intensified image that detracts from normal performance.
All operators should also perform preventative maintenance checks and services before each use of their NVGs. This will help identify deficiencies, provide a means to measure performance and increase the equipment’s longevity, and know they’ll work properly when you need them most.
Can You Damage Night Vision?
Night vision is an important device for the aviation industry, allowing pilots to see in low-light conditions. However, night vision can be damaged by several things.
The most common source of damage to night vision is exposure to bright light. This can be caused by using a torch or lighting a cigarette in the dark. Exposure to bright light also damages people’s eyesight during the day, so it is important to avoid this if you are trying to preserve your night vision.
Other sources of damage to night vision include smoke, dust, and grit particles in the air and UV radiation from the sun or lamps. Depending on their sensitivity, these factors can cause temporary or permanent blindness.
What Causes Night Vision Damage?
Despite what some people may believe, night vision is not completely invulnerable. Some things can damage or destroy it.
Exposure to Bright Light
One of the most common ways this can happen is through exposure to bright light. This can cause irritation in your eyes and turn them red, leading to decreased night vision.
Remember that if you wear contacts or glasses during the day, you may also have a harder time seeing in the dark.
Another reason that night vision can damage is through chemical exposure. A lot of people work in industries where they’re exposed to harmful chemicals regularly. This exposure can lead to inflammation and even blindness in some cases. Therefore, if you’re concerned about exposure to these chemicals, you should speak with your doctor before taking action.
An accident or attack can always result in physical injury. If someone hits you on the face with something sharp while you’re wearing night vision goggles, for example, they could damage them beyond repair.
Can Night Vision Scope Burn Out?
The short answer is that night vision can burn out over time, but You don’t need to worry about it. Night vision technology has progressed a lot in the previous years and is now much more reliable and efficient than initially. However, like any other technological device, night vision can eventually falter if properly maintained.
Therefore, if you’re using your night vision regularly and experiencing occasional problems with it, there’s a good chance that the device is just burning out. This usually happens when the camera’s sensor loses its ability to sense light.
Over time, this will cause the camera to produce blurry images and eventually fail altogether. If you notice anything unusual happening with your night vision, get it checked out by a professional asap.
Can You Repair Night Vision Devices?
If you can repair night vision, the answer is yes. However, restoring your image to its pre-damage state may be difficult or even impossible, depending on the damage’s extent.
Aviation NVG repair can replace parts of the eye or lens, restore lost sensitivity, and increase brightness or contrast. Surgery is sometimes a must to correct a permanent loss of night vision.
Why Choose Night Flight Concepts?
Enhanced Aircraft Operator Safety & Health
When working with us, you can improve the safety of your aircraft operators on their flights with industry-leading night vision devices and the highest-caliber NVG maintenance and training services.
Improved Return On Investment
When you choose us, reduce the costs linked to improper NVG usage, equipment breakage, and failure, including lost missions, downtime, and personnel and equipment loss.
Initiating night vision capabilities allow operators to expand their existing services to include night flight operations that will optimize your revenues.
When you work with us, you can maximize the efficiency and productivity of your aircraft operators while reducing operator errors with our proven, cutting-edge NVG training products, content, and techniques.
Superb Customer Support
The cornerstone of our business is to provide aviation organizations worldwide with real-world and accurate night vision information, professional guidance, and expert advice.
Our customer service and support team are available to discuss your needs, and we encourage you to reach us with any questions or concerns.
What Else Do We Offer?
Highly experienced pilot instructors and world-class technicians who repair night vision systems are the same and provide customers with training, equipment assessment, maintenance, and repairs.
Night Flight Concepts night vision technologies are the primary choice for aviators around the world. In extremely low-light conditions, our NVGs deliver crisp, defined imaging. In bright-light scenarios, they retain high-resolution and visual clarity, improving safety and Situational Awareness.