A night vision device (NVD), also known as night optical/observation device (NOD) and night-vision goggles (NVG), is an optoelectronic device that allows images to be produced in levels of light approaching total darkness. The image may be a conversion to visible light of both visible light and near-infrared, while by convention detection of thermal infrared is denoted thermal imaging. The image produced is typically monochrome, e.g. shades of green. NVDs are most often used by the military and law enforcement agencies but are available to civilian users. The term usually refers to a complete unit, including an image intensifier tube, a protective and generally water-resistant housing, and some type of mounting system. Many NVDs include a protective sacrificial lens or optical components such as telescopic lenses or mirrors. An NVD may have an IR illuminator, making it an active as opposed to the passive night-vision device.
Night-vision devices were first used in World War II and came into wide use during the Vietnam War. The technology has evolved greatly since its introduction, leading to several “generations” of night-vision equipment with performance increases and price reductions. Consequently, they are available for a wide range of applications, e.g. for hunters, camper, and other outdoor lovers.
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