Full Colour Night Vision on the way?

#1
Looks interesting. A major step up from the gear we've got now!


An online video posted by a maker of civilian and military imaging equipment shows a yellow road sign, green grass, a blue sky with fluffy white clouds — and twinkling stars.

Sierra Pacific Innovations Corp. filmed it at midnight near its Las Vegas headquarters using technology that could revolutionize troops’ ability to see and operate in the dark.
New full-color night vision could revolutionize troops’ ability to operate in dark
 
#3
Will it have better depth perception? I used to practice in a darkened tent with them on throwing and catching a ball, but I never really got accustomed to them.
 
#5
How can that work?

Surely white light is needed for colour? That's called daylight. You don't need a nightsight for daylight conditions.

But the MOD will probably buy thousands of them anyway
 
#6
I hope they've got better. Back in '92, the RAF introduced them for Chinook pilots. Previously, we (MAOTs) would lay out a NATO T with right angle torches for night flying, with the torches angled down. When the NVGs came in, we had these little IR LED things so the torches didn't blind the aircrew. Downside was that the blokes on the ground couldn't see the T.

Bit of an immature technology back then, all the enemy had to do was fire up a set of vehicle headlights to completely blind the pilots. It was a bit weird doing night flying with no lights at all, not even the nav lights of the aircraft. Suppose it's SOP these days with better NVGs. At least, I hope so!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#7
Don't see why not. BBC show wildlife programmes and take great delight in showing how good their very low light cameras are. Compare with same pic from a daylight camera, almost black.

BBC still need a full night camera now, but it can't be far away.
 
#13
I've used seriously fast lenses consumer lenses for video at like F1/F1.2 at ISO 50,000 odd and it doesn't look that clean, and that video shows no red or purple color cast creeping in by the look of it that I would normally expect to see

So Silly question, but how come that doesn't have the colour cast I'd expect to see at night time???
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#17
This takes all the fun out of putting your foot forward onto flat ground to find out it is in fact a pant shittingly terrifying drop of two feet.
 
#18
This takes all the fun out of putting your foot forward onto flat ground to find out it is in fact a pant shittingly terrifying drop of two feet.
Give me some advance notice of when you get to do a review of one of these and run the competition, eh.
 
#19
How can that work?

Surely white light is needed for colour? That's called daylight. You don't need a nightsight for daylight conditions.

But the MOD will probably buy thousands of them anyway
All explained here.
The stimulus for color hasn't disappeared at night. The problem is that there simply isn't enough light for us to perceive colors. This is a picture of Yosemite Falls at night (about 11:00PM) on an early spring evening with a nearly-full moon.
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for us to perceive colors. I took this picture of Yosemite Falls at night (about 11:00PM) on an early spring evening with a nearly-full moon. I set my camera exposure time to about two minutes in order to capture enough light to make the image. You can see that it was taken at night by looking at the stars in the sky and seeing that they actually moved a little bit (well actually the earth rotated a little) during the long exposure time. This full-color night-time image shows that all the colors are still there under moonlight, but we just can't see them. The sky is blue, the water white, trees green and brown, rocks gray and brown, etc. When I was in the original location, I could only see a black and white version of the scene with my naked eyes. That is because there was only enough light for my rods to function and not my cones.


Why Can't I See Colors at Night?

You can't see colors at night because our visual systems are not designed to see colors when there isn't very much light in a scene. We actually have two visual systems that work in parallel to help us survive in the world. When there is plenty of light, we use our cone photoreceptors. There are three types of cones roughly sensitive to red, green, and blue light and we can compare the images captured with these three systems to perceive the colors in the scene. We can also see fine detail with our cones.
However, the ability to see colors and detail with our cone system means that the cones cannot be very sensitive to light. As the light levels decrease at night, we reach a point where our cones can no longer respond because there simply is not enough light for them to produce a response. In this situation, our visual system automatically switches to a second set of photoreceptors known as rods. There is only one type of rod receptor, so that means we can only see in shades of gray when our rods are working and our cones are not. The rods also gang up together to capture light over relatively large areas. This helps them to be very sensitive to the small amounts of light available at night, but it means that they cannot possibly allow us to resolve fine details.
Thus, it is our switch from the color-sensitive, but light-insensitive, cone system to the color-insensitive, but very light-sensitive, rod system that causes us to loose our color vision at night.
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The article says that SPI, a producer of thermal imaging systems for the U.S. military and Department of Homeland Security, used a system known as x27 to capture the vividly-colored imagery. The company says its technology can amplify light to 85,000 times its original brightness.

SPI’s sensors “collect ultra-extreme amounts of light and translate them … into a clear, clean, bright image,” the company says on its website.
The video suggests a big improvement on night vision systems that the military has used in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years to capture and intensify photons of ambient light. The x27, by contrast, employs an extra-sensitive version of the image sensor found in many digital cameras.
Troops are used to seeing grainy, green monochrome when they use night-vision goggles on the battlefield. They’ve complained about a lack of depth perception and poor performance when there’s not enough ambient light. And older night-vision technology was also susceptible to sudden shifts in lighting conditions: Bright lights could damage the image intensifier or temporarily blind a soldier.
 
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