4th Generation Night Vision Goggles

By: Ricky Lim

So just why should someone consider purchasing a pair of 4th generation night vision goggles over the other generations that are already available. Probably the biggest reason for choosing a 4th generation pair over say a 1st, 2nd or 3rd generation pair of night vision goggles is that the technology is much improved.

Certainly in the last 10 years the industry has seen a marked improvement on how well the image intensifiers work in order to produce a much clearer image to the user. Today with 4th generation goggles, a person is able to see much better quality images no matter what the light condition is like. This is why it now makes them the best performing of all night vision goggles that a person can actually purchase today.

Sometimes these types of goggles will be referred to as Generation 3+ goggles rather than Generation 4, but they do differ in two ways from the Generation 3 goggles.

4th Gen night vision goggles have an automatic gated power supply to them which now regulates the voltage of the photocathode, which allows them to instantly change to adapt to the lighting conditions that they are being used. Secondly they have either had the ion barrier removed or it has become much thinner which means that the noise and image being produced is much less distorted.

Because they have removed or made the ion barrier much thinner in 4th generation NVG's today as well as improving the gating system, this meant that the range of detection as well as the resolution at which the images are seen by the user is much improved. They are especially good as they can even be used when the light is extremely bad. As the ion barrier has either been removed or made thinner this results in more of the electrons being able to make their way through to the image intensifier which has resulted in all the images being produced of a much higher quality.

However, it is important to note that only a few manufacturers are actually currently producing these 4th generation night vision goggles and although they are presently being used by both military and law enforcement agencies, it may be some time before they become readily available to the general public. But even when available to the public, you can expect to pay a premium for them because of their advanced imaging capabilities.

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