Visual Acuity with Second and Third Generation Night Vision Goggles Obtained from a New Method of Night Sky Simulation Across a Wide Range of Target Contrast
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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The purpose of this investigation was to study the primary factors which influence visual acuity VA with night vision goggles NVGs. These factors are night sky condition, target contrast, and NVG generation. Improved methods were used to simulate the night sky and to control for differences in target contrast which result from dissimilarities in spectral sensitivity between NVG generations. The new simulation method used combinations of spectrally flat neutral density and wavelength selective blue glass filters to reproduce the spectral distribution of the night sky across the entire NVG response range. Between-generation differences in target contrast were eliminated by weighting the incident radiant flux by the sensitivity of the detector. It was found that the difference in VA between the two generations widens under two conditions 1 when target contrast is constant and night sky irradiance decreases, and 2 when night sky irradiance is constant and target contrast decreases. Furthermore, it was found that for a given NVG generation, VA falls off more rapidly for a low contrast target than for one of high contrast when night sky irradiance decreases.
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