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Seeing Better to Shoot Better

Photonics Spectra
Apr 2010
Hank Hogan, Contributing Editor, hank.hogan@photonics.com

With better eyes in the sky and on the ground, soldiers soon will see the battlefield more clearly than ever. Thanks to sensor innovations, screen improvements, faster digital processing and other advances, military imaging systems will capture and reveal critical information that cannot be caught or displayed today.



Night-vision light-enhanced photography showing US Army Sgt. 1st Class Arnold Stone, 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th New York Army National Guard, wearing his AN/PSV-7D night-vision goggles while using a handheld radio to call for a situation report. (US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Steve Faulisi, Balad Air Base)






Schott's NightViper optical scope, introduced by the company's Fiber Optics Defense Division in 2008, allows soldiers on night operations to see what's around corners, under doors, in vehicles or through holes in buildings before entering. NightViper, a flexible wound fiber optic bundle 2 to 6 ft long, attaches to standard 18-mm night-vision goggles. (Photo courtesy of Schott)











A close-up night-vision view of a US Army soldier, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, wearing a Kevlar helmet with night-vision goggles attached. (US Army photo by Spec. Olanrewaju Akinwunmi).









A US Army soldier from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, uses night-vision goggles to scan for enemy personnel during a nighttime air assault operation in Sayafiya, Iraq, in 2007. (US Army photo by Sgt. Timothy Kingston)





US Army Staff Sgt. Abraham Bitolas, of the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, uses night-vision goggles to provide security at an Iraqi army checkpoint in Ur, Iraq, in 2008. (US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Adrian Cadiz)







US Army Sgt. Jason Weaver from Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment, Michigan National Guard, scans his sector for insurgents during a night patrol using his night-vision goggles, PVS-14, monocular night-vision device. (US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bronco Suzuki)


GLOSSARY
digital camera
A camera that converts a collected image into pixels that are black or white digital or shades of gray. The digital data may then be manipulated to enhance or otherwise modify the resulting viewed image.
microdisplay
A transmissive, reflective or emissive high-resolution display that typically measures 1 cm diagonally, and whose use requires magnifying optics to project a highly magnified image on a surface for the image to be observed by the viewer.
screen
The large, usually flat surface onto which an image is projected for viewing. May be reflecting or transmitting (rear projection).
sensor
1. A generic term for detector. 2. A complete optical/mechanical/electronic system that contains some form of radiation detector.
spectral response
Measure of a detector's signal during exposure to radiation of a constant power level and varying wavelength.
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