New development in night vision techniques

New development in night vision techniques - NEW...

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NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN NIGHT-VISION EQUIPMENT AND TECHNIQUES R J Thompson Home Office, PSDB Woodcock Hill Sandridge, St Albans Hertfordshire AL4 9HQ Abstract: The continued loss of lucrative military contracts has caused Western manufacturers of night-vision components and systems to review their marketing strategy. But the product range remains essentially unaltered and, as the equipment was originally designed for a military role, it can be unsuited to police use. This paper outlines the present state of low-light surveillance imaging and notes that although development work on image-intensifiers still continues, this work is likely to contract with the reduction in military sponsorship. It reports the use of Russian night-vision equipment by the criminal, the effect of this on police operations, and proposes a way forward for future research and development. INTRODUCTION This paper presents a brief general overview of the equipment and techniques presently used by the police to obtain images under low levels of illumination. The last few years have been a period of great change, much of which is due to a marked reduction in the volume of military orders for night-vision equipment. Some manufacturers have left the field, switching to new activities or closing down completely, while others have been absorbed by their bigger and more powerful competitors. It has led to the loss of some familiar names and to a narrowing of the range of available equipment, a process that will continue unless the intensifier manufacturers can find other markets for their equipment. But this will be difficult for them as ncw night-vision technology has always been unavailable to the general public and we may assume that any move to alter this situation would be opposed. Et is unlikely that there could be a great increase in police purchases of night-vision equipment as these have always been much smaller than the former military market. The police also have slightly different equipment equirements. The need to produce picture evidence has for example led to the development of night-vision systems intended solely for photography. The police should therefore anticipate increasing difficulties in the provision of suitable night- vision equipment at a reasonable cost. The same period has seen a spectacular rise in the numbers of cheap night-vision devices being imported from Eastern Europe. Direct evidence of their use by professional criminals in this country has forced the police and other security agencies to reassess their night surveillance strategies. For almost two years the Police Scientific Development Branch (PSDB) has been steadily building a catalogue of Russian night-vision equipment. We find that much of the equipment being sold here has poor low-light performance, often due to the use of only a single-stage, first- generation intensifier. Some of it is also of a
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This note was uploaded on 03/07/2010 for the course ECE 1212 taught by Professor Jame during the Spring '09 term at Punjab Engineering College.

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New development in night vision techniques - NEW...

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