Seeing in the Dark: ITT Secures US Army Night Vision Goggle Orders
ITT Corp received 2 orders for night vision goggles worth a combined $91.3 million from the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command.
Under the 1st order, an indefinite delivery/ indefinite quantity contract worth $72 million, ITT will supply its aviator night vision goggles (AN/AVS-6), night vision tubes and spare parts to Army rotary-wing pilots. Under the 2nd order, a $19.3 million delivery order under the OMNI VII night vision contract, ITT will supply AN/PVS-14 night vision monocular goggles to the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Army.
ITT’s night vision goggles use light-amplifying technology that takes a small amount of light and converts it into electrons…
These electrons pass through a thin disk that’s about the size of a quarter and contains more than 10 million channels. As the electrons go through the channels, they strike the channel walls and thousands more electrons are released. These multiplied electrons then bounce off of a phosphor screen that converts the electrons back into photons, enhancing the night vision of the person wearing the googles. An ITT video demonstrates this process.
The AN/AVS-6 [pdf] goggles use what ITT calls Generation 3 technology in which a photocathode is coated with sensitive gallium arsenide that allows for a more efficient conversion of light to electrical energy at low levels of light. This is designed to improve image clarity for pilots under all conditions of nighttime flying.
The AN/PVS-14 [pdf] is a night vision monocular goggle for ground forces. The device, which also uses Generation 3 technology, can be hand-held, head- or weapon-mounted or fitted to a camera.