SA Photonics Develops an Advanced Digital Night Vision System

LOS GATOS, Calif. — SA Photonics has developed the High Resolution Night Vision System (HRNVS), a wide field of view digital night vision head mounted display for use by commercial and military pilots of fixed-wing airplanes and rotorcraft.

Night vision has been a key enabling technology for the U.S. military for more than 30 years, allowing U.S. pilots to “own the night” and fly after dark missions in relative safety. This dominance of the nighttime environment has often been the decisive factor in battlefield victory. Yet there remain substantial shortcomings to night vision systems, including low resolution digital displays and constrained field of view. Surveys of U.S. Air Force pilots have found that the most frequently requested improvement for night vision goggles is a larger field of view.

SA Photonics, a leading developer of optics solutions for the military, is leveraging its experience with night vision and head mounted displays with the HRNVS, which provides pilots high resolution night vision imagery and over 82.5 degree field of view, more than double the field of view of most existing night vision systems. The HRNVS has other advantages compared to existing systems, such as reduced peripheral obscuration, reduced forward projection and swept volume, zero-halo, and the capabilities for digital image enhancement, recording night vision imagery and overlaying symbology.

“At SA Photonics, we are serious about improving pilot safety while increasing performance in both commercial and military cockpits,” said Dr. Michael Browne, SA Photonics’ Vice President of Product Development. “HRNVS advances the state of the art of night vision goggles and head mounted displays and will provide a significant improvement in nighttime situational awareness.”

The HRNVS system was developed in a partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Army’s Night Vision Laboratory and Vision Systems International. Dr. Browne is presenting the HRNVS at the 2011 SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing Symposium in Orlando on Thursday, April 28th.

SA Photonics is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative photonics solutions for commercial and government applications. SA Photonics’ expertise includes optical communications, ruggedized photonics hardware, opto-mechanical design, and complex analog and digital engineering for space, marine, avionic and ground applications.

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