This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
Night Vision has come a long way, yet there’s so much more we want out of it.
For instance the quality of the picture, the size and weight of the optics not to mention the battery life and price of these things. And since there is color TV, why shouldn’t our Night Vision goggles and scopes have it too? Step by step we’re getting there.
The new ColorTAC CVA-14 from Chromatra LLC is designed to easily clip on to any existing PVS-14, which is Monocular Night Vision Device (MNVD), or a MOD-3B monocular. These are sold separately.
Below: The ColorTAC CVA-14 contains two filter wheels that rotate in sync fore and aft of the NVG. The two colour channels are viewed normally through the PVS-14 and the user’s brain perceives the encoded colour information in near-true colour.
According to Chromatra LLC:
ColorTAC Provides Clip-On Color Night Vision For The PVS-14
“Night Vision technology has exponentially increased the capabilities of warfighters, law enforcement professionals, and hunters. Being able to see in the dark provides a marked advantage in hunting terrorists, criminals, hogs, coyotes, and other vermin. But even the most cutting edge technology has its limitations. Image intensification devices have always been monochromatic, making the ability to decipher contrast between colors an impossibility… until now. Chromatra LLC was founded by a group of innovative thinkers with experience in electro-mechanical design and military optics. After years of development, their patented Gemini technology is changing everything we thought we knew about night vision systems.
Unlike previous attempts to broaden the color spectrum for image intensifiers, ColorTAC represents the night in near-true color. Earlier attempts to filter color on existing night vision systems failed because they would arbitrarily assign colors to surfaces. ColorTAC represents objects, surfaces, and patterns in near-true colors for increased identification ability. The product is “near-true” color because certain lighting conditions may cause certain colors to appear slightly off their actual. Colors will still appear in the correct hue, but their shade may be just to the right or left of the actual color if it was viewed in daylight.
The CVA-14 works in conjunction with a legacy PVS-14 or MOD-3B monocular. Due to its size, the CVA-14+PVS-14 is not recommended for head mount. Though head mounting it is possible, hand held application like a thermal imager is better. The CVA-14 increases the users’ detection capability by allowing them to better see people or objects that might otherwise blend together in a monochromatic image. This is especially useful in Surveillance and Search & Rescue operations. Color capability also greatly enhances identification of targets. An individual target in a group of people can quickly and easily be PID’d by the color of his/her clothing. The same can be done with vehicles and buildings. The CVA-14 also features a quick swap ability that allows the user to turn off the color and view the scene through the legacy night vision only.
This facilitates communication with other team members who may not be using a ColorTAC device, because it allows the observer to see what their teammates see. Tracking (and medical triage) is also easier when blood trails actually show up as red stains. Fast information processing is critical in the defense and security communities. Time is life, and the ability to quickly make sense of what you see can greatly impact the safety of you and your team. It can mean the difference between mission success and mission failure, proactively neutralizing a threat or reactively dealing with the fallout.
ColorTAC works with both green and white phosphor image intensification tubes, as well as infrared lasers and illuminators. While the image is incredible with a standard green thin-filmed tube, it is even better and clearer with an un-filmed white phosphor tube. IR lasers and illuminators show up clear as day. They have a white-ish hue under the CVA-14.
The CVA-14 is a rugged, duty-ready system. The housing is a durable impact-resistant polymer that is engineered and manufactured by Wilcox Industries, a leader in defense industry production. It easily collapses for storage when not in use and installs in seconds without tools. The CVA-14 is powered by two AA lithium batteries and produces a quiet hum while in operation. The hum cannot be heard from more than a few feet away. Operation is simple with a single push button controlling power and pallet swap. A small Color Enhancer lever can increase or decrease color saturation in the image to aid the user in detection and identification.”
You can check out a demo here: http://colortacnightvision.com