Night-vision, image-intensifier tubes couple to digital cameras with relay lenses in digital-age upgrades

By JOHN KELLER

EAGLEVILLE, Pa.–The pursuit of network-centric warfare and the digital battlefield is fueling attempts to re-invent the analog image intensifier tube common to night-vision goggles (NVG) and other kinds of night-fighting equipment to enable this low-light sensor to produce digital imagery that can be shared over tactical networks and viewed on digital displays.

The analog image-intensifier tube is a staple of more than half a million existing night-vision sensors, such as the AN/PVS-14 night-vision monocular. Although these devices remain valuable for night vision in military and law-enforcement applications, the images they produce are not much use to anyone beyond the person looking into the night-vision device.

Analog image-intensifier tubes in night-vision goggles are getting a second lease on life by coupling with digital cameras with relay lenses.

Electro-optics systems designers, however, are starting to consider additions to the venerable image-intensifier to convert its analog signal into digital data. Designers are doing this by coupling the image-intensifier tube to digital cameras by adding fast relay lenses. Do this, and imagery from the tube can be viewed on digital displays, sent over digital networks to nearby forces and higher command authorities, or processed for multispectral imaging.

"Everyone wants to see things digitally," explains Angelique Irvin, president and chief executive officer of electro-optics specialist Clear Align in Eagleville, Pa. Clear Align and other electro-optical companies like Electrophysics Corp. in West Fairfield, N.J., are providing the fast relay lenses that help convert image-intensifier tube signals into digital information.

Relay lenses can convert images from one size to another without losing any light. The relay lens transmits the tube's image to a digital camera, which records the information for storage, transmitting on a network, or for additional digital signal processing to fuse the tube's imagery with other sensors or for enhancement for intelligence analysts.

Irvin explains there are two ways to couple photos and video from an image-intensifier tube to a digital camera: either use a fast relay lens, or use a fiber-optic taper, which like a relay lens converts an image from small to large, or from large to small.

Irvin cautions that using a fiber-optic taper not only is expensive, but also is a permanent solution. "People will still use those night-vision goggles," Irvin says. "With a relay lens, you can pop a camera on it and look at images on a screen, rather than through the NVG lenses."

For more information, contact Clear Align online at www.clearalign.com, or Electrophysics Corp., a Sofradir Group Company, at www.electrophysics.com.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


The Innovation That Matters™ Quiz

Innovation is one of the key drivers in the Defense industry. View this short video of Leon Woo, VP of Engineering at Mercury Systems, on the role of innovation. Then, answer 3 simple questions correctly to be entered into a drawing to win an Eddie Bauer fleece jacket!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR TWO MOST RECENT WINNERS. "Nick from SPARWAR" and "Bridget from AOC."


Military & Aerospace Photos

Related Products

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

Sensors Unlimited GA1280JSX High Resolution, Mil-Rugged, Extended High Sensitivity InGaAs SWIR Camera

Manufactures a high resolution, mil-rugged, extended high-sensitivity 0.9 Mpixel InGaAs SWIR came...

M1U20xx 1U Military-Grade Computer System

The M1U20xx Military-Grade Rack Mount System is a reliable high-performance mil-spec 1U solution ...

Related Companies

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

American Infrared Solutions (AIRS)

Wire News provided by   

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Advantages of Intel Architecture Products and Wind River Solutions in Military & Aerospace Applications

This webinar explains the individual advantages of the Intel Architecture hardware, available for long-life supply, and the WRS software portfolio.  There are extraordinary advantages of combining such ...
Sponsored by:

social activity

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE