Monday 12 December 2016

Pre-War Night Vision

"Approved by Deputy Chief of GABTU, Major-General of the Technical Forces, Lebedev
March 1st, 1941

Tactical-Technical Requirements for production of experimental night vision driving devices
  1. Overall requirements
    1. The night vision driving devices must be in the form of glasses that attach to the driver's helmet or head, which allow him to drive at a speed of 10-15 kph with the hatches closed and 15-20 kph with the hatches open.
    2. The commander's night vision device must be shaped like a pair of binoculars.
    3. Regular tank headlights must be used as a source of IR light, and a regular portable tank lamp must be used as an IR signalling device.
  2. Set of equipment
    1. One vehicle's set of equipment must consist of:
      1. One night driving device shaped like glasses.
      2. One communication and observation device shaped like field binoculars.
      3. Light filters for the headlights.
      4. One portable light for the commander.
      5. Light filters for portable lamps and the tank's rear lights.
Technical requirements:
  1. The driver's night driving device must be made in the shape of binocular glasses which either attach to the driver's helmet, or the driver's head, with no attachment to the helmet. The attachment is supposed to be simple, reliable, and comfortable.
  2. The mass of the glasses, not including the attachment elements, must be no greater than 350 grams.
  3. The nighttime communication and observation device must be made in the shape of field binoculars and weigh no more than 1 kg.
  4. The glasses and binoculars must draw electric power from the tank's batteries. The power consumption must not be greater than 150 W. The interference from the night vision devices must not affect the tank's radio.
  5. A convenient portable battery and light must be developed for the binoculars to use outside of the tank.
  6. The power supply for the glasses and binoculars must be as small as possible and no larger than 140x100x100 mm.
  7. The eyepieces must have stoppers that retain the configuration during the driver and commander's operation of the tank.
  8. The eyepieces of the glasses and binoculars must have soft rubber eye-cups. 
  9. The design of the device must allow for cleaning of the eyepieces during operation without taking it off or throwing off the settings.
  10. Regular headlights must be used as light sources. Light filters with attachments and lightbulbs powered by 12-13 V (or 24-25 V) with combined power of 100 W and lifespan of at least 25 hours must also be developed. No additional wiring in the tank is allowed.
  11. Using the devices must not be tiring or constricting during operation of the tank.
  12. The design of the glasses must allow the user to:
    1. Put on or remove the glasses in one motion.
    2. Drive with closed hatches.
  13. The light distribution of the IR emitters should be as follows:
    1. Dispersed light with a gradual movement towards shadow.
    2. Maximum illumination at a distance of 12-15 meters from the tank.
    3. The width of the illuminated area must be 8-9 meters.
    4. The illuminated section of the road must begin 5 meters in front of the tank and end about 17-20 meters away from the tank.
  14. The electric binoculars with a signal lamp must allow communication between tanks at a range of up to 500 meters.
  15. Preparation of all night driving equipment on the tank must take no more than 5 minutes. The glasses and binoculars must begin working in 1-2 minutes.
  16. The glasses must be simple to use and reliable during bumps and shocks while driving.
  17. The glasses and binoculars must be stored in cases like the field binoculars case when not used.
  18. All night driving equipment must be placed conveniently outside and inside the tank, and must not interfere with the work of the crew. It is not permitted to remove any existing equipment from the tank, reduce ammunition capacity, or move ammunition in order to install the night driving equipment.
Deputy Chief of the Red Army Armoured Directorate, Military Engineer 1st Class, Korobkov
Chief of the 3rd Department of the BTU, Afonin."

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