Graphene Can Improve Current Night Vision Technology

An aircrewman on an HH-60H Black Hawk helicopter scans the ground with night vision lenses during an air assault mission to search for insurgents and weapons caches in Taji, Iraq, July 3, 2006. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Larson) (Released)

Graphene is a carbon allotrope that is super flexible, thin, and light and could potentially be used to create new and improved night-vision technology.

Current night-vision equipment takes the heat that humans and animals emit and, with a special lens, transmits the signal to infrared detectors to create a pattern based on the temperatures emitted. Called a “thermogram”, this pattern is turned into electrical impulses that a computer analyzes and sends to the display to create an image. Additionally, a cryogenic cooling system sensor is used to filter out background noise to process a clearer, better image.

Graphene can’t span an entire infrared range in traditional night-vision technology however through additional equipment (the cryogenic cooling system), MIT researchers have created a thermal sensor that’s graphene-based and that also uses a microelectromechanical system. This additional system makes the cryogenic cooling system unnecessary, creating a design that’s sensitive to light in the entire infrared spectrum, visible light, and ultraviolet light.

Since graphene is only one atom thick, this graphene-based system is thin, flexible, and transparent, and can be potentially used for new night-vision technology like contact lenses or wearable equipment that’s less uncomfortable and bulky. Lighter and more flexible night-vision wearables would make it easier for those who rely on night-vision for their jobs to complete their tasks. It can also make other experiences like hunting with night vision hunting scopes more comfortable.

This new technology is still being developed, so for all your current night-vision needs, be sure to check out the Night Vision Experts.

This is a sponsored post brought to you in collaboration with Night Vision Experts. 

Story source: Gizmodo

Featured image source: Wikipedia

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