Scopes / Glossary

Terms

Automatic Brightness Control:

Electronic feature that automatically reduces voltage to the micro-channel plate.Maintains image brightness within optimal margins and protects the tube. The effect can be seen with rapid change in lighting.

Auto-Gated Power Supply:

Systematical turning on and off at a fast rate to reduce blooming effect on night vision devices and thermal optics.

Black Spots:

Dirt or other blemish in the image intensifier, possibly between the night vision lenses.

Bright Spots:

Defects caused by flaws in the micro-channel plate that adversely affect the image displayed by electro optic devices.

Biocular:

Viewing a single image source with both eyes.

Binocular:

Viewing an image through two channels, one per each eye.

Blooming:

Loss of thermal night vision due to overloading of bright light, also known as the halo or white out effect.

Bright Source Protection:

Reduction in voltage to the photo-cathode when the night vision device is exposed to bright light sources.

Boresighting:

Alignment of the scope to the bore of the weapon.

COMSPEC:

Commercial specifications used to define night vision image tube quality, testing and inspection by L3 or SureFire manufacturer.

Chicken Wire:

Irregular pattern of dark lines in the night vision field of view.

Daylight Training Filter:

Glass filter assembly designed to fit over the objective lens of a night vision device filtering light input to a safe level.

Diopter:

Measurement of eye correction or refractive power on a lens adjusted to individual eyesight.

Distortion:

Grainy effect in the night vision device caused by manufacturing flaws in the intensifier tube and fiber optics.

Equivalent Background Illumination:

Amount of light seen through a night vision device when image tube has no light present on the photo-cathode.

Edge Glow:

Glowing in the perimeter of an image area of night vision device.

Emission Point:

Fluctuating pinpoint of bright light in the image area that does not go away when all light is blocked from the objective lens.

Eye Relief:

Distance between eye and rifle scope to achieve the optimal image.

Field-of-View:

Width of the terrain image when viewed through a riflescope.

Figure of Merit:

Image intensification calculated by millimeter signal to noise.

Fixed-Pattern Noise:

Honeycomb pattern throughout the image and inherent in the structure of the micro-channel plate of the night vision rifle scope or monoculars.

Footlambert:

Unit of brightness equal to one candle at one foot distance.

Gain:

The factor by which a night vision device amplifies light input.

Halo:

Circular region around a bright light that appears brighter due to elastic collisions of electrons on the MCP surface.

Highlight Shutoff:

Image intensifier protection feature incorporating a sensor, microprocessor and circuit breaker. This feature will turn the system off during periods of extreme bright light conditions.

Inter-Pupillary Adjustment:

The adjustment for the space between the two eyepieces of binocular optics to accommodate individual differences.

Infrared Illuminator:

Built-in infrared diode that emits invisible light providing supplemental illumination in a night vision device.

Infrared:

Illumination below the visible spectrum. It cannot be seen by human eye.

ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations):

US Government regulatory agency controlling the export of defense-related materials, articles, and services on the United States Munitions List.

LED:

Electronic light source based on semiconductor diode when forward biased, the electrons recombine with holes releasing energy in the form of light called electro-luminescence.

Light Lens Cover:

Allows marginal amounts of light on to the lens of a night vision device usually for training purposes only.

Lumen:

Photons visible to the human eye in one second.

Monocular:

Single eyepiece optical device.

Mil Spec:

Stringent and exacting specifications required by the US military

Micro-Channel Plate:

Metal coated glass disk that multiplies the electrons produced by the photo-cathode and eliminates distortion.

Microwatt:

One-millionth of a watt, a derived unit of power.

Mil-Dots:

Reticle designed for miliradian unit of measurement and allows hunter to accurately estimate range using a thermal night vision rifle scope or monoculars.

Miliradian:

Unit of measurement to determine laser divergence, one unit is equal to 0.001 radian with a deviance of 1-meter per 1000-meters.

Milliwatt:

Unit of measurement equal to one thousandth of a watt.

Minute Of Angle:

Rifle scope point of reference, 1.047" per 100-yards.

Nanometer:

Unit measurement of length, one-billionth of a meter.

Near-Infrared:

Short wavelengths of infrared, nominal 750 to 2500 nanometer.

National Stock Number:

13-digit code for standardized items, such as thermal night vision rifle scopes and thermal optic monoculars and recognized by the US Department of Defense.

Photocathode:

Surface input for image intensifier tube which absorbs light energy photons and releases electrical energy electrons resulting in the image.

Photocathode Sensitivity:

Measures intensifier tube light conversion and transmits an electronic for amplification.

Picatinny Rail Mount:

Series of ridges with t-shaped cross-sections used as standard attachment method for tactical weapons in the US Military.

Resolution:

Ability of the image intensifier, or night vision rifle scope or thermal optic monocular, to distinguish between objects close together.

Reticle Pattern:

Adjustable scope or monocular aiming point inside the optical weapon commonly referred to as the "crosshairs".

Signal-to-Noise Ratio:

Measurement of the light signal reaching the eye divided by the measured extraneous light.

Scintillation:

Random sparkling effect throughout the scope or monocular image area such as scintillation of the micro-channel plate image intensifier.

Screen:

Image tube output that produces the image for viewing.

Stereoscopic Night Vision:

Multiple view image produced by one device that represent both the left and right eye viewpoint.

System Gain:

Equal to tube gain minus losses induced by system components such as lenses, laser splitting and filtration.

Variable Gain Control:

Manually adjusting the gain in varying light conditions, an L3 feature in the thermal optic monoculars and night vision rifle scopes.

Watt:

Derived unit of power measuring energy conversion in International System of Units, 1-watt is equal to 1-joule of energy, per second.

Weaver Mounting System:

US weapon mounting system used for attaching sighting devices to weapons.

Zeroing:

Method of adjusting crosshairs to compensate for projectile characteristics at known distances.

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