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night vision technology report

night vision technology report

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Published by: Pradeepdarshan Pradeep on Mar 21, 2012
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Night Vision TechnologyECE DEPT.MITM Page 1
Chapter 1
 
Introduction
1.1
 
Introduction
Night vision technology, by definition, literally allows one to see in the dark. Originallydeveloped for military use, it has provided the United States with a strategic militaryadvantage, the value of which can be measured in lives. Federal and state agencies nowroutinely utilizethe technology for site security, surveillance as well as search and rescue.Night vision equipment has evolved from bulky optical instruments in lightweightgoggles through the advancement of image intensification technology.Night vision has had many improvements throughout the course of history. Its beginningdate back to Second World War when the Germans idealized a very effective way toeasily use their sniper rifles during the night. This was later researched very deeply intobecause night vision proved to have a devastating advantage for those who used it.Night vision can work in two very di
ff 
erent ways, depending on the technology used.
 
Image enhancement
- This works by collecting the tiny amounts of light,including the lower portion of the infrared light spectrum, that are present butmay be imperceptible to our eyes, and amplifying it to the point that we caneasily observe the image.
 
Thermal imaging
- This technology operates by capturing the upper portion of the infrared light spectrum, which is emitted as heat by objects instead of simply reflected as light. Hotter objects, such as warm bodies, emit more of thislight than cooler objects like trees or buildings.In this article, you will learn about the two major night-vision technologies. We'll alsodiscuss the various types of night-vision equipment and applications. But first, let'stalkabout infrared light.
 
Night Vision TechnologyECE DEPT.MITM Page 2
Chapter 2
The Basics of Infrared Night Vision
2.1 Infrared Spectrum
In order to understand night vision, it is important to understand something aboutlight. The amount of energy in a light wave is related to its wavelength: Shorter wavelengthshave higher energy. Of visible light, violet has the most energy, and red has the least. Justnext to the visible light spectrum is the infraredspectrum.
Figure 2.1: electromagnetic spectrum
Infrared light can be split into three categories:
 
Near-infrared
(near-IR) - Closest to visible light, near-IR has wavelengths thatrange from 0.7 to 1.3 microns, or 700 billionths to 1,300 billionths of a meter.
 
Mid-infrared
(mid-IR) - Mid-IR has wavelengths ranging from 1.3 to 3microns. Both near-IR and mid-IR are used by a variety of electronic devices,includingremotecontrols. 
 
Thermal-infrared
(thermal-IR) - Occupying the largest part of the infraredspectrum, thermal-IR has wavelengths ranging from 3 microns to over 30microns.The key difference between thermal-IR and the other two is that thermal-IR is emitted byan object instead of reflectedoff it. Infrared light is emitted by an object because of whatis happening at the atomiclevel.
 
Night Vision TechnologyECE DEPT.MITM Page 3
2.2 Atoms and Photons
 Atomsare constantly in motion. They continuously vibrate, move and rotate. Even theatoms that make up the chairs that we sit in are moving around. Solids are actually inmotion! Atoms can be in different states of excitation. In other words, they can havedifferent energies. If we apply a lot of energy to an atom, it can leave what is calledthe ground-state energy level and move to an excited level. The level of excitationdepends on the amount of energy applied to the atom via heat, light or electricity.An atom consists of a nucleus (containing the protons and neutrons) and an electroncloud. Think of the electrons in this cloud as circling the nucleus in many different orbits.Although more modern views of the atom do not depict discrete orbits for the electrons, itcan be useful to think of these orbits as the different energy levels of the atom. In otherwords, if we apply some heat to an atom, we might expect that some of the electrons inthe lower energy orbitals would transition to higher energy orbitals, moving farther fromthe nucleus.
Figure 2.2: Nucleus

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