How Do Night Vision Scopes Work: Explained!

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Night vision scopes have been a thing for decades. But have you ever wonder how do night vision scopes work? You must have, right? Why else you would google it now. Haha gotcha, anyway corny jokes aside today we are going to try to make you understand how night vision scopes actually work.

WHAT IS A NIGHT VISION SCOPE?

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A night vision scope is like a regular scope but it works in night. Now the night vision scope can be digital or gen-1 night vision where the scope works at night with the help of an IR flashlight. 

Where the digital night vision scopes feature an LCD and use a camera to capture footage through the objective lens. 

To sum it up night vision scope is the same as regular riflescope but it works in night too. Where regular scope fails to show anything during the night time. 

HOW DOES A NIGHT VISION SCOPE WORK?

The science behind this can be very complicated. We are trying to keep it on a surface level so that you understand the mechanism. 

AMPLICATION OF LIGHT

You can see in the night because there is light available even at night. Whether it’s from the moon or some artificial source. But there is light. 

Night vision scopes are sophisticated electro-optical devices that capture that light and amplifies it by million fold to make it presentable. 

INFRARED ILLUMINATOR

Gen-1 night vision scope to this day uses an external infrared flashlight to perform at night. The way works it is the light this flashlight display is in infrared not regular yellow or white color. 

It reflects on the object and comes back to the flashlight and the scope displays that feedback. 

When the infrared light hits the object and comes back the receiver not only captures the IR but it also captures the extra light that the IR illuminates. Mind you with naked eyes you can’t see IR illumination, it’s virtually invisible.

PHOSPHOR SCREEN

The image you see on the screen is not the physical object. Amplified electro image on phosphor screen which glows in color. It is perfect for a scope. 

It is also perfect because human eyes can capture more shades in green than any other color. 

Just to let you know you don’t see colorful images at night. Not even in digital ones. The images you see are either in green or gray. 

The camera or objective lens captures the footage amplifies it through the processor (if digital scope) and projects it to eyepiece/LCD (if digital) then we see the image.

Most digital scope uses grayscale images. Where some use phosphor screen. ATN uses obsidian core to amplify the images in their night vision scopes. 

The processor also features lots of other useful features.

Mind your night vision scope uses a battery to power the core so you need to charge them. Digital night vision scope features a less powered with small battery backup. 

Because they feature a ton of other sensors that all consume battery. But a gen-1 night vision scope might run you for over 150h, depending on the model of course. 

DO NIGHT VISION SCOPES WORKS DURING THE DAY?

We already answered this question. Yes, night vision scope is just like your regular scope they will also work during the day. But during the day make sure that you turned off your IR to save battery. 

FAR CAN NIGHT VISION SCOPES WORK?

Pretty far. 

Or should I say as far as you want it to be. You heard me right. 

Gen-1 night vision scope supports external IR flashlight so if you want to increase your vision just increase the size of the IR flashlight. 

But if you are opting for digital scope then they have a limited variable amount of zoom. But most model features a big version of them which offers a ridiculous amount of zoom. 

CONCLUSION

We tried to make it as simple as possible. We hope you were able to understand about night vision scope a little more.

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