What Are The Applications Of The Night Vision Goggles?

In most of the action movies, spies use special glasses to see in the dark room. Have you ever thought about why they use it and how does it look? These tools are known as Night Vision Goggles. Here’s an article to know you about Night vision goggles, working, and applications.

Night Vision Goggles

The night vision goggles are a handheld or head-mounted device that looks similar to the binocular. Night vision goggles provide the ability to see in total darkness and the improvement of vision in low light environments. The first commercial night vision goggles were developed by Vladimir K. Zworykin at Radio Corporation of America, after WW-II. It’s intended for civilian use.

Night vision device are also called as Night Optical Device and Night Vision Goggles. The night vision goggles are two eyepiece models; a two eye-piece that is seen through a single image tube, and a two piece sight seen through a dual image tube. They are excellent for constant viewing while moving around the surrounding environments in deep dark situations.

Night Vision Goggles
Head-mount Night Vision Goggles

The main purpose of the Night Vision Goggles is to trace out the location and target the enemies during wars at night timing. The night vision goggles are mainly used for a wide variety of applications such as military defense, law enforcement, security, hunting, navigation, surveillance, entertainment, wildlife, observation, and camping. 

How do night vision goggles work

Night vision devices collect ambient light ie, moonlight, infra-red light or star light. This light which is made up of photons pass into the photocathode tube which changes photons into electrons. Then the goggles multiply into a number of electrons. The part of the device is called a photomultiplier. Each electron entering the photomultiplier out-turns into more electrons leaving it. The leaving electrons strike the phosphor screen, and they create tiny flashes of light. Hence there are many photons than originally entered goggles, it may produce the screen makes the brighter picture of the scene.

There are two types of technology used in night vision goggles. And both technologies are often used by the police and the security. They are image enhancement and thermal imaging.

Why does everything look green through night vision goggles?

why does everyhing looks green through night vision goggles
Everything looks green while viewing through Night Vision Goggles

Night vision goggles use green color to see objects because the human eye can distinguish more shades of green than any other color. The human eye is sensitive to light of all colors.  The image intensification screen inside the device is made of phosphor. These phosphors on the screens make green pictures as our eyes are more sensitive to green light.

Night vision goggles are green to maximize the received lights from natural sources such as starlight and moonlight. They cannot work in complete darkness, they do need a light source. It’s also easier to look at green screens for a long period than to look at black and white ones.

The reason behind the NVGs looking green, is because the image intensifier used inside the device is made out of phosphor. This substance is used because of its luminance effect, in which they don’t carry color information and it glows bright green. 

Applications of the Night Vision Goggles

The main purpose of the night vision goggles was to find the enemy and target it during night. It is not only extensively used for military purposes but also for navigation, surveillance, and targeting. Image enhancement and Thermal imaging are often used by the police and the securities, particularly for surveillance. The following applications of night vision technologies are explained.

Military Defense and Law Enforcement

NVGs in military defense
Military Defense officers often utilize Night Vision Goggles for better approach

Night Vision Goggles allow the warfighters to see the enemies in the night and also in low light environments and helps them to detect and prevent the disruption of an enemy. Two types of night vision devices are used for military purposes. Image intensifiers and thermal imagers. Best surveillance can be done in Low light environments using the help of night vision techniques.

Image Enhancement

Image Enhancement
High Image enhancement technology of night vision goggles helps in surveillance

Image-enhancement technology is also called night-vision devices (NVDs). It gathers tiny amounts of light including infra-red spectrum that are invisible to our eyes. It amplifies the light and makes images easier to see.  Most of the night vision equipment is used for image enhancement technology.

Thermal Imaging

Thermal imaging
Night Vision Goggles detects the objects by infrared light

It was first developed for military purposes and now it has also adapted for Law enforcement, Police, and security professions, and Fire & rescue teams. They are used to find lost peoples in Low light Environments. Night vision goggles use Thermal Imaging technology to capture infrared light. It is a method of using infrared radiation, and thermal energy to gather information about objects, to formulate images of them, even in low visibility environments. Thermal imaging works in the total absence of any light and can even work in smoke, fog, smog, and haze. 

Wildlife Observatory

NVGs for wildlife observation
Capturing wildlife using Night Vision Goggles

Night vision goggles are widely used in wildlife observations. It lets you watch the habits of animals during trekking without disturbing them. The night vision devices include telescopes, spotting scopes, monoculars, rangefinders, cameras, goggles, and binoculars. All of the devices have many uses in Wildlife Observatory. If you like to go for nature trek or camp someplace these devices might help you see more environments.

These devices are used among wildlife enthusiasts, hunters, and mainly for nocturnal animal observations. NVG’s assists you to see more clear and bright pictures even after the dark and also in the low light environment by  the only source of  moonlight and stars. Many Warm-blooded animals are active at night. So that the Thermal imaging cameras are used to watch the animals during day and night. At last, it’s able to show images that give off heat such as human bodies.


For security purposes, NVDs are used to scan the surrounding environments at night to protect from burglars. Their applications also include border security and disruption. NVDs can be networked to collect information and to communicate those pieces of information between command centers and sensors. Where the information is elucidated and feedbacks are determined.

Fire & Rescue Team

Thermal imagers are mostly used in Fire & rescue applications, rather than any other night vision devices. Because it has sense heat, a fundamental to firefighting procedures. NVGs allow the Aerial fire detection teams to locate and control the fire. Also, to help with the expulsion of civilians ahead of the fire.Thermal imagers are also used to spot overloaded loose electrical connections or fuse panels.


Night vision devices are one of the favors to mankind. The NVDs have proven that, a very good tool for the Military, wildlife observer, hunting, target shooting, and law & enforcement. Very first, the Night vision devices are introduced to find the enemy at night. But nowadays these devices are greatly used in the military and many other applications. Extensive training would be needed to make providers facile with their use.

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