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Oerlikon nighttime vision uses near-infrared spectrum


May 24, 2007

The night vision system, which uses near-infrared (NIR) radiation, is equipped with the Oerlikon NightVision filter

The night vision system, which uses near-infrared (NIR) radiation, is equipped with the Oerlikon NightVision filter

May 25, 2007 Driving is a site-response game, and without the light of day, becomes far more difficult after sundown. Many manufacturers have been experimenting with night vision systems, Now Oerlikon Optics has developed a new active night vision system that uses near-infrared (NIR) radiation, achieving over 90 percent efficiency of near-infrared light visible onto the car’s monitor. The unwanted residual light generated with infrared headlights is reduced by a factor of 1000. This allows appreciably improved reproduction of objects at night time.

The NightVision filter, produced via the sputtering process, allows active night vision systems with extreme radiation power to exploit the NIR wavelengths, while efficiently blocking visible light without red illumination interference.

Car drivers are aware of a major issue while travelling dark unlit roads: While approaching a distant turn at night, and before perceiving what is ahead, they become blinded by oncoming traffic. Such situations become a thing of the past, because this new technology enables drivers to see clearly, even with dimmed headlights. The secret of these night vision systems is their infrared headlights, which illuminate the road with their infrared light. The image is then captured via an infrared camera, and reproduced in shades of gray on a display screen. The generated image represents what is seen with the high beam on. This system enables drivers to react faster under dangerous driving situations and to travel to their destinations in a more relaxed condition, even after long night time trips.

Near infrared (NIR) radiation systems equipped with a NightVision filter developed by Oerlikon Optics more than double night time visibility without affecting oncoming traffic by your headlights. The technology also ensures that the infrared illuminators will not be confused with taillights or stop lights, allowing the very large NIR output to achieve extremely high image quality.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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