Enhanced Night Vision Goggle Customer Test

Report No. ARL-TR-3839
Authors: Christian B. Carstens, Charles C. Bonnett, and Elizabeth S. Redden
Date/Pages: August 2006; 167 pages
Abstract: This study was conducted to evaluate a prototype enhanced night vision goggle (ENVG) that combines thermal and image intensification (I2) capabilities. Two infantry squads acted as participants. Soldiers were trained to use the ENVG and they received familiarization training on a baseline I2 device (AN/PVS-14). The exercises included woodland individual movement techniques (IMT) course trials; military operations in urban terrain (MOUT) target detection trials; land navigation exercises; MOUT defensive and offensive exercises; night rifle qualification course exercises; ambush and patrol exercises; and human factors compatibility exercises. The experiment was conducted in May and June 2004, during hours of darkness, at various sites in Fort Benning, Georgia. Results indicated that the fused night vision device (NVD) enhanced the capability to detect heat-emitting targets, especially through obscurants, without interfering with movement through woodland, open fields, and urban terrain. Fusion diminished the negative impact on target detection and engagement when smoke was introduced. In the woodland environment, fusion did not interfere with IMT times and did increase the range at which thermal and human targets were detected. Deep shadows, camouflage, and smoke did not mask targets when the thermal overlay was used. In the MOUT setting, fusion technology provided significantly better target detection capability than was provided by the I2 baseline. When used in the fusion mode, the ENVG device was compatible with the AN/PAQ-4C and AN/PEQ-2 laser aiming devices. Fusion capability did not, however, enhance firing accuracy for heat-emitting targets on the night qualification range. Limitations in the configuration, mount design, system controls, and visual characteristics of the fused NVD were identified and discussed.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2006