Magazine article Army

Night-Vision / Surveillance Systems

Magazine article Army

Night-Vision / Surveillance Systems

Article excerpt

The night-vision/surveillance systems noted below fall under the proponency of the program executive office, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors (see C^sup 4^I) but their wide tactical utility mandates a separate listing.

The AN/AVS-6 Aviator's Night-Vision Imaging System (ANVIS) is a lightweight self-contained helmet-mounted directview night-vision system designed for pilots. The most recently fielded version, the AN/AVS-6(V)1A, provides imagery quality sufficient for an aviator to complete nighttime missions in starlit conditions. An advanced version that extends operations into overcast starlit conditions began fielding during FY 2002.

The AN/AVS-7 Aviator's Night-Vision Imaging System Heads-Up Display (ANVIS HUD) is a post-Operation Desert Storm enhancement to the AN/AVS-6. The system collects and displays critical flight information from aircraft sensors and converts it into visual imagery, allowing the pilot heads-up flying without the need to look down continuously at the instrument panel.

The HUD senses critical flight data (altitude, airspeed, attitude, torque, compass heading and so on) and transmits the data to the goggles. The data are overlaid on the goggle imagery to provide the pilot with integrated night scene and critical flight data symbology. This technology gives significant operational advantages and increases safety during night missions.

Army inventories include approximately 1,900 ANVIS HUD systems for use on the UH-60A/L and CH-47D platforms. Recent activities have included a HUD retrofit to establish compatibility between ANVIS HUD and GPS-upgrades to the UH-60A/L and CH-47D platforms. In addition, September 1999 marked the receipt of the first advanced HUD systems, an upgrade effort that will further enhance 1,200 of the Army's ANVIS HUD units. The advanced HUDs are field-programmable, have reduced latency and contain upgrade features for future video capabilities.

The AN/PAS-13 Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS) is a family of low-cost, lightweight infrared imaging devices with medium to high resolution. It is a second-generation forward-looking infrared (FLIR) system. Compatible with the digital battlefield, it provides a standard video output for training, image transfer or remote viewing. The device is used for fire control of individual and crew-served weapons in light and darkness. The system allows units to continue day or night operations during degraded visual conditions caused by smoke, fog or dust. The thermal weapon sight family provides a substantial improvement over the image intensifier (12) night sights like the AN/PVS-4 and AN/TVS-5 systems currently in use for small arms. The individual and crew-- served weapon gunners will truly "own the night" with this unparalleled capability.

To get this technology into the hands of users in the most effective and expeditious manner, the medium and heavy TWS were initially fielded in a limited procurement model in 1999. Both the medium and heavy TWS are entering the field. The light TWS is scheduled for fielding in early 2003.

AN/PVS-7D Night-Vision Goggles are head- or helmet-mounted 12 devices used by soldiers during night operations, such as driving, walking, first aid, map reading and maintenance tasks. This passive system allows the user to detect and recognize a human-size target at a range of 150 meters under starlit conditions. The goggles are designed for use with rifle-mounted aiming lights.

The AN/PVS-10 Night-Vision Sniper Night Sight is an integrated day or night sight for the M24 sniper rifle system. The AN/PVS-10 design includes both day and night optical channels, with the night channel incorporating a third-generation image intensifier. This design provides snipers the ability to acquire and engage targets under day and night conditions. The 2.2-kilogram system mounts to the existing rail of the M24 and uses the standard mil-dot reticle. Each Stryker brigade combat team is authorized 30 systems. …

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