Tuesday 8 October 2019

Night Vision Driving


The range of vision with two lights using 100 watt electric bulbs each results is the following:
  1. A person or other vertical object on the road or on terrain can be seen from 35 meters.
  2. Terrain features and the road can be seen 12-15 meters in front of the tank.
  3. Buildings and structures (huts, churches, telegraph poles) can be seen from a range of up to 50 meters.
All objects are visible in green. Observation can be done through the device on a dark night with the same clarity as without the device on a moonlit night.

Assistant Chief of the 3rd Department of the GABTU BTU, Lieutenant-Colonel Dorofeev

August 8th, 1942"

Photo #1: overall view of the night vision driving device. Left to right:
  1. Headlight
  2. Vision device
  3. Power supply
Photo #2: overall view of the vision device. Top to bottom:
  1. Lenses
  2. Casing
  3. Eyepieces


  1. Most drivers get used to driving by moonlight. The real problem is when you go through forest or drive on moonless nights. Use lights only when absolutely necessary.

  2. i had no idea there was any night vision in 1942

    1. Research had been ongoing since the late Twenties, there's more articles on the topic under the label. I remember reading somewhere that the tech started out as a spin-off of research into *colour TV cameras* of all things; the Brits apparently had a sufficiently operational low-light system (codenamed TABBY) by '44 to use it in preliminary surveys of the Normandy landing sites and both the Germans and Americans had active-IR small arms night sights in field trials by '45.

    2. For some reason the German one is the only one that people remember and then tout the Wehrmacht as high tech supersoldiers even though the Allies did it first.

    3. TBF the StG 44 was a lot more credible platform to stick it on than the dinky little M1 Carbine :v

      Random curio: a presumably war-surplus M3 Carbine and its distinctive-looking IR sight get some decent mileage in the villain's hands in the '73 Belgian comic "L'Orgue du Diable", the second album of the long-running Yoko Tsuno series.

    4. I think they picked the M-1 Carbine specifically because of it's size. Those early night scopes were bulky and when combined with the backpack battery quite a lot of weight.