When speaking of night vision, there are two main categories: image enhancement, aka infrared, and thermal imaging, aka heat.
Image-enhancement technology is what most people think of when you talk about night vision. Image enhancement collects small amounts of light that are present but normally imperceptible by the human eye, including those in the lower portion of the infrared light spectrum. It then amplifies this light to the point we can observe the image. Image-enhancement systems are normally called night-vision devices (NVDs) and can be distinguished by an eerie green tint.
Thermal imaging is the second category, which sounds more exciting — and it is.
Thermal imaging captures the upper portion of the infrared light spectrum, which is emitted as heat. Hotter objects, such as warm bodies, emit more of this light than cooler objects, such as trees or buildings. This can be critical for law enforcement. Imagine a suspect who is motionless and partially concealed. With image enhancement, it would be easy to scan past the suspect without detection. With thermal imaging, not only would the individual stick out like a sore thumb, you would be able to see a footprint trail or detect a recently discarded object due to the differences in heat signatures from other objects in the vicinity.
Nemesis 4x Gen 2+
The durable, waterproof Armasight Nemesis 4x Gen 2+ night vision riflescope is designed to provide high-resolution visuals on the darkest nights. Featuring shock protection and a 4x magnification to increase accuracy, the scope also includes bright-source protection on the Gen 2+ image intensifier tube and automated brightness control to optimize the scope for your surroundings. An illuminated red-cross reticle with variable brightness control enables you to see exactly where you are aiming. MSRP $1,469.
MK 410 Spartan
The ATN Aries MK 410 Spartan night vision riflescope features 5x magnification, improved optical configuration, a low F-stop factor and increased optical resolution, allowing more light to travel through the lens to the tube and creating brighter, sharper images. The Aries offers a precision red-on-green aiming system, push-button operation and reticle brightness adjustment. A detachable, 450mW infrared illuminator and weather-resistant design make the riflescope a great choice for night hunting, and the system easily mounts onto any U.S. standard 7/8-inch weaver or picatinny rail. MSRP $649.
OTS-X-E314 1X Thermal Imaging Viewer
The latest in ATN’s OTS Thermal Imager System line, the OTS-X series is designed to be a versatile, compact and lightweight yet rugged thermal viewer that can be easily carried in a cargo pocket. The 60Hz OTS-X is one of ATN’s most affordable thermal viewers to include a full 336 x 256 resolution. Featuring the ability to interchange the objective lens so you can have multiple magnifications based on your need or mission, the OTS-X is available with four different lens types. MSRP $4,495.
Scout PS-32 Handheld Thermal Monocular
The PS-32 Scout offers three selectable palettes — white hot, black hot and InstAlert (thermal signatures show up bright red on a black-and-white background) — to adjust your view to your surroundings. The three-button operation allows you to easily customize brightness, contrast and polarity, and capture a freeze frame. The Scout is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion internal battery that will last up to five hours. An embedded LED task light provides non-thermal illumination for close-range, hands-on tasks, and for added stability, the Scout features a 1/4-20 tripod mount. MSRP $2,999.
Night Enforcer NEPVS-14 MNVD
The lightweight, single-battery Exelis Night Enforcer NEPVS-14 Generation 3 Pinnacle monocular night vision device (MNVD) is battle-proven. Features include auto-gated, thin-filmed Pinnacle image intensifier tube technology, and variable gain control allowing you to adjust image tube brightness for greater contrast in varying light conditions. Designed for demanding nighttime law enforcement applications, the NEPVS-14 can be handheld, head-mounted, helmet-mounted, weapons-mounted or adapted to a camera or camcorder. MSRP $3,995.
ATAC 360° Thermal Camera System
The high-resolution ATAC 360° Thermal Camera System allows the user to see in total darkness. With a 320 x 240-resolution FLIR camera, the system can see man-sized targets from more than 1,500 feet away. Using longwave infrared sensor technology, the thermal core sees through smoke, fog, rain and other atmospheric conditions. Easily mounted, the system offers 370 rotation x 135 tilt using either the included wired toggle control, wireless handheld or dash-mounted wireless remote controls. The RF wireless remote controls can be programmed to your desired frequency for uninterrupted use with one or multiple systems. MSRP $7,995.
Read the full Summer 2014 FOP Journal issue.