Gain (Analog NV) | Optics Trade Debates

  • Polona 

Welcome to Optics Trade debates. In each episode, we talk about a different topic and try to answer the most common questions we receive about it. Today we are going to talk about the gain on night vision devices.

The term ‘gain’ is found in specification tables for analog night vision devices. Gain defines the amount of light amplification an analog night vision device is capable of.

Analog NV devices achieve night vision with an image-intensifying tube and are classified in generations. Different generations have different values of gain.

Gen 1 NV devices have gain values between 500 and 2000, so the light that entered the device got amplified between 500 and 2000 times.

Gen 2 NV devices have gain devices between 10.000 and 20.000. Gen 2+ devices are devices that are still considered as Gen 2 but come really close to the gain values to the Gen 3, so from 25.000 to 45.000. only the best gen 2+ devices come close to 45.000 of gain.

Gen 3 NV devices are really rare on the civil market because they are very expensive. Gen 3 have from 45.000 to 65.000 gain.

The higher the gain value the brighter the image is.

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Explanation of the term on our website:

Gain is an information, that tells you the number of times a night vision amplifies the ambient light. The image intensifier is the heart of all analog night vision devices and it is the main component. Effectivity of the intensifier is measured with “gain”. The older Gen 1 night vision devices have a GAIN from 500 – 2000 times. The gain for Gen 2 NV devices is typically from 10.000 – 20.000 times, and there are Gen 2 NV devices with different photocathode options on the market that even exceeds those values. Gen 2 with higher quality photocathode falls into Gen 2+ night vision category, which GAIN value is 25.000 to even 45.000 with the newest photocathode Photonis XR-5. The gain on Gen 3 NV devices is from 40.000 to 65.000 times.

The bigger the gain, the bigger amplification of the ambient light, the brighter and better quality image you will get and of course, the higher the price.


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