Over at Danger Room, Noah Shachtman got a look at the military's current and next-gen night-vision goggles (or, more accurately, "goggle," or "monogoggle," since they only cover one eye). Hardly anyone ever gets to look at these, so to actually be able to try them out is pretty amazing. The goggles live up to the hype: they pack incredibly sensitive thermal sensors (enough so that reflections and handprints both glow) as well as embedded LCDs that transmit all kinds of data.
The current top-of-the-line goggle is known as Enhanced Night Vision Goggles: it combines the classic glowing-green image intensification (known as "i2") with thermal sensors. The i2 is an analog technology--the military is constantly working on a digital version, but at the moment the digital version has a lag that's unacceptable--that essentially amplifies the tiny bits of light that exist even in a "pitch-black" area. But those aren't great for, say, spotting an enemy lying in the tall grass, and then can be rendered useless with a blinding flash of light.
So the Enhanced Night Vision Goggles include a thermal sensor that's easily the most sensitive we've ever heard of. Says Shachtman: "In a specialized trailer outside the factory, ITT's Harry Buchanan shows how sensitive the thermal sensor is. He rubs his hands on the wall, then puts them back by his side. Through the eyepiece, I can still see his handprints. Then Buchanan takes his shoes off. Not only do his feet leave similar marks; his shoes continue to glow hot."
The next version, still in alpha (and pictured above) actually shoots video and transmits it live, so a commander (or whoever) can see what the soldier sees. But it also has a built-in display, sort of like these Sony 3-D goggles, that shows just about any kind of data the soldier might need: maps, messages, locations, footage from drones or other soldiers, that kind of thing.
Read more about the goggles over at Wired.
Makes me think of Metal Gear Solid 4
"Do not offer sympathy to the mentally ill.
Tell them firmly:
I am not paid to listen to this drivel.
You are a terminal boob." - William S. Burroughs
This technology is developing into the same style of what predators use. Infrared night vision with ultra-sensitivity, data displays, realtime broadcast.
There's something like this in Farscape as well that Peacekeepers use (minus the heads up data). Single piece night vision scopes with infrared capabilities.
This is why no one says science fiction doesn't influence reality. We're all living in a Jewels Verne and H.G. Wells world.
This gear looks good for a spotter solder, scout of sorts. But, it does not seem soldier 'running' tech friendly. I do appreciate the development of this type of technology. I am all for anything that gives our soldiers the edge.
This tech has actually been around for a while with the FGM-148 Javelin. Although creating a smaller, soldier based system is pretty new.
It does give us some pretty nice advantages like what is stated in the article. In addition it helps with tracking indivduals through the residual heat signature left with each foot print. So even if they do a great job at covering up their own tracks in an escape and evasion situation, this will track them down, even several hours after they have left the area.
It's also great for those of us unfortunate individuals that are tasked with doing route clearance missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Being able to see the difference in heat signatures between earth that has been removed and tampered with and the the heat signatures each terrorist leaves will make the detection of IED's much easier. They need to get this smaller, more portable version to soldiers in theater NOW!
It's also usefull at detecting hidden weapons and suicide vests.
Army Juggernaut, I appreciate your extra info. ;)
@Army Juggernaut I was an 0351 in the Marine Corps and that looks nothing like the Javelin display on the CLUs I have used. Not picking a fight, everything else you said I completely agree on!
The best way I see this being really useful, not saying they wouldn't be in every situation of today's standard NVGs is when going against another foe who has NVG capabilities. If you are indoors and using the IR light it is just as much a target indicator to the foe wearing NVGs as just using a standard flight light. You wouldn't need such a thing with these goggles.
Not the same but there are similarities. The picture posted is also a snap shot, I don't know if it was enhanced at all to create emphasis.
GOD BLESS ALL OUR MILITARY FOLK EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
p.s. I am a Navy Veteran and Patriot too.
I also assumed it was some type of photochop job. It looks like they used the idea of mixing the AN/PVS-14 and the AN/PAS-13. Makes me wonder if it will have the option like on the AN/PAS-13 to change hot from black to white. I would think the military would be moving towards LIDAR mounted in the helmets feeding a heads up display maybe even some augmented reality like rounds left in magazine, or compass. Then all they would have to do is install eye trackers and say good bye to laser tagging for air attacks. Just stare at something and call in your 'fire for effect'.
@B.V. I was going to say that if this hasn't been in splinter cell yet, then their is no way it can be real?
did they have thermal vision in MGS4. Its been too long since I played the game to remeber.
@Tomiko anata wa honto ni UZAI!
I have always wanted a pair a night visions goggle, but in reality there is no use for them. It would be fun for a little bit, but the novitly would wear off quickly I think. Unless I am hunting, a soldier, or a master thief there is no real use for these. even at night when you go to the bathroom how many of you turn on the light? I dont. I know the way. and just "feel" my there there. putting on night vision gogles would be just as much a waste a time as turning on a light, and just as jarring I am sure.
@inaka_rob just a question. why would you ever use Night vision Goggles to go to the bathroom??? what a huge waste of money! And like you said they would be useless unless your hunting a soldiers or master thief. Well night vision Goggles are used by the army aren't they?? isn't hunting enemy soldiers kind of their job??
Anyway question to @ I4Future & @ Army Juggernaut, wouldn't it be better to have night vision goggles like this on a rifle?? more comfortable to aim with and it won't get in your way if you get in a fire fight. That's at least my way of thinking (i say this in case you get in a fire fight) Anyway interesting article.
The AN/PAS 17 which was what I was actually thinking about not the 13 is rifle mounted sites.
inaka_rob, you write in Japanese and call someone bothersome I guess. I google translated your words.in You are also rude to the readers for commenting in Japanese, because they cannot enjoy the benefit of his words. Please ask him to speak English.
Its nice to see you back and commenting. You were gone for a few days not commenting. I am glad you know the way to your bathroom. Please remember to wash you hands too. ;)
I could see this being useful in many ways, having used a civilian version of the AN/PVS-7 system for a few years now. The image in even a good pair of Gen3+ goggles is still not as good as your vision is in daylight, and the monochrome image really messes with target detection. With a thermal overlay, and a set temperature threshold to display at, picking out living biological targets is going to be a lot easier. And I can drop the FLIR as well. Happy days!
HALO Nerd ;D
There are benfits to both. Obviously when you engage the enemy in a firefight you have flip the goggles up and out of your way, but then again are you going to hold your rifle up to your face the entire time and use the rifle mounted sight to navigate over rough terrain? Besides, many optical sights are made to be compatable with current night vision goggles, which alows you to keep the goggles on your face and bring the weapon up to engage because the reticle is visible through the night vision.
Personally I'd rather have the ability to navigate in complete darkness with a pair of goggles. In an urban environment most engagements are less than 100m, and for MOUT most engagements are within 10m. Room to room is so close you dont even use your sights when you engage. Just point and shoot.
@Army Juggernaut Don't forget the PEQ 4's. For those of you not familiar with that, it is a laser sight for your rifle that is only visible to NVGs.
Something I just thought of, I want to shoot a .50 cal with theses things on! I bet tracking the round in flight would be a cinch!
@ army juggernaut, Lol your right totally forgot about the flipping part on the goggles, and i totally get your point thank you for your answer
I work at the plant in part of the automation engineering group. I can tell you that the posted pic has not been enhanced; that really is what you see looking through the goggle.
this is amazing, the military scientists really do an awesome job, coming from a family that is nothing but military engineers, contractors, snipers, and so on, i hope i can use something like this when i enlist in the marines.
Now, does it jive if I sight a rifle through them?