HOW STARLIGHT TECHNOLOGY WORKS
Night vision devices gather existing ambient light (starlight, moonlight or infra-red light) through the front lens (1). This light, which is made up of photons goes into a photocathode tube (2) that changes the photons to electons. The electrons are then amplified to a much greater number through an electrical and chemical process (3,4 & 5). The electrons are then hurled against a phosphorus screen (5) that changes the amplified electrons back into visible light that you see through the eyepiece (6). The image will now be a clear green-hued amplified re-creation of the scene you are observing.
FIRST, SECOND, THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION
A Night Vision Device can be either a 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation unit. What this stands for is what type of light intensifier tube is used for that particular device The light intensifier tube is the heart and soul of an NVD.
3rd generation By adding a sensitive chemical, gallium arsenide to the photocathode a brighter and sharper image was achieved over 2nd generation. An ion barrier film was also added to increase tube life. Gen. 3 provides the user with good to excellent low light performance.
Gen IV technology is not currently available for export.
All Starlight scopes need some light to amplify. This means that if you were in complete darkness you could not see. Due to this we have a built in infra-red illuminator (IRI) on all of our scopes. Basically what an IRI does is throw out a beam of infra-red light that is near invisible to the naked eye but your NVD can see it. This allows you to use your scope even in total darkness. The IRI works like a flashlight and the distance you can see with it will be limited. We do use the most powerful eye-safe illuminator on the market. This allows our IRI to extend out to 100 yards However, because of the power at a short distance the IRI may cover only 40-60% of the viewing area.
HOW FAR CAN YOU SEE
There are many different variables that can effect the distance that you can see with a Night Vision device. First, what are you trying to see? Are you looking for another boat on the water or are you looking for a rabbit in the woods? The larger the object the easier it is too see. Plus, are you trying to see details (what we call recognition range) or are you just trying to see if something is there or maybe you will just see movement but won't be able to 100% determine who or what it is. This is called detection range. Second. Another variable is lighting conditions. The more ambient light you have (starlight, moonlight, infrared light) the better and further you will be able to see You can always see further on a night where the moon and stars are out then if it is cloudy and overcast. We typically state that you can tell the difference between a male and a female or a dog and a deer at about 75 to 100 yards. However, if you were looking across an open field and there was a half moon out you could see a barn or a house 500 yards away. Remember, that the purpose of an NVD is to see in the dark not necessarily a long ways like a binocular.
BLACK SPOTS ON THE SCREEN
As you look through a night vision device you may notice black spots on the screen. A NVD is similar to a television screen and attracts dust and dirt. Typically these spots can be cleaned. However, this may also be a spot in the tube itself. This is normal. Most tubes will have some spots in them. These black spots will not affect the performance or reliability of the night vision device.
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