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What is Night Vision Goggles Technology in Aviation?

What is Night Vision Goggles Technology in Aviation?

BY MOHSIN HASSAN Published on June 02, 2024 0 COMMENTS

Night vision goggles (NVG) technology aids the aircrew in seeing through low-light conditions, whether inside the cockpit or from an external view. NVGs enhance the pilot's visibility in the dark to navigate safely at night.

 

Enhanced Visibility by the Best Night Vision Goggles

 

While pilots fly comfortably at low altitudes during the day, flying through buildings and hilly areas at night might be risky. Night vision goggles help pilots see their cockpit instruments and external views more clearly in the dark.

 

When Did Civilian Pilots Use NVG First?

 

Before 1999, night-vision goggles (or night-vision glasses) were used for military purposes. On Jan. 29, 1999, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued the first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) to use night vision goggles for civilian helicopters. Since then, commercial pilots have used this technology effectively to enhance their visibility in the dark.

 



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How Do Night Vision Goggles Work?

 

Two types of night vision technology—image enhancement and thermal imaging— exist. Image enhancement is widely used in aviation. Night-vision goggles use image enhancement technology to collect and amplify available light, allowing pilots to see clearly through the dark.

 

Photo: AeroXplorer | Luke Wittig

 

Night-vision equipment includes monoculars or binoculars. However, in aviation, pilots typically use binocular, helmet-mounted equipment. The technology works efficiently for dim light sources such as external moonlight and instrument lights inside the cockpit.

 

Night Vision Goggles Advantages in Aviation

 

Improved safety, better situational awareness and enhanced navigation are the significant advantages of this technology. NVGs improve operational safety by facilitating aircrews to have better internal and external views at night. Hence, pilots can be better aware of their surroundings, specifically during takeoff, landings, and low-altitude flying.

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