Inside the Freaky World of Next-Gen Night Vision

Looking into night vision scope with person's data viewed

Night vision and thermal of two soldiers positioned behind a wall

Images Credit: ITT Corp

ROANOKE, Virginia — A pair of buildings on Plantation Drive sits just past the tractor-supply store, right in front of the barn belonging to the local women’s college. From the street, the cream-colored structures don’t look like much more than typical office buildings; only a wire fence distinguishes them from their neighbors. Inside, however, is a laboratory and fabrication facility where engineers produce one of the U.S. military’s most important advantages over its foes: the ability to see in the dark, when others are all but blind.

Night vision technology — and these buildings — have been around for more than a half-century. The green-tinged view from inside the goggles is now yawningly familiar. But this ITT Corporation facility doesn’t make the rudimentary night-vision gear found in kids’ toys or sex tapes. Here, they design and build the military-grade gear. And it can peer further into the dark, with greater fidelity, and under darker conditions, than any civilian equipment. (Sorry, Paris.)

That’s not all. The latest generation of ITT’s night-vision gear, issued to a relative handful of American forces, comes with thermal sensors inside; that allows troops to detect the heat from an insurgent sniper, even when he’s completely camouflaged. The generation after that — currently under development here — will send digital maps, mug shots and drone footage to that same night vision eyepiece. In other words, U.S. forces will be able to ambush, apprehend and identify suspected militants — without the target ever seeing what the hell just happened to him.

Original article here:


About the author


More posts by | Visit the site of J Williams