With rapid growth in thermal imaging and infrared technology, optics manufacturers continue to advance their products in an effort to keep up with high demanding markets, including night vision devices. Wearable night vision devices such as enhanced night visions goggles (ENVG), which use thermal imaging in their design, continuously improve in performance as technology evolves quickly. Helmet mounted goggles, cameras and other thermal devices have been at the forefront of the market, but night vision goggles are predicted to be the application to watch as the market progresses.
2x growth in Canada from 2014-2020
5x growth in Mexico
3x growth in South America
$9 billion by 2020 – Night vision camera market
Every year Photonics West brings together some of the biggest names in the industry, and every year attendees and exhibitors get an inside look at emerging technologies powered by light. This year it was all business—those technologies are here now.
The first week of January, the RPO team joined almost 200,000 people in Las Vegas to scope out the technology trends that are expected to impact the optics industry.
Optical system advances drive possibilities in new markets.
Advances in IR optics have opened up new doors for night vision commercial applications. While military and defense continue to make up nearly 45% of the market, night vision is becoming a viable choice for:
*Note: Since this interview, Mike has been promoted to Vice President of Operations.
When the chance to join the RPO team came around, Mike Davenport jumped at taking it. A problem solver by nature, Mike knew the challenge-driven mentality of RPO was the right place for him. His interest in optics comes from the complexity of the industry. "Every project involves a lot of theory, a lot of engineering, and a lot of mechanical common sense," he explained.
Night vision technology has been a critical component of the defense industry since World War II. The demand for newer and better instruments has only increased. To address this growing need, RPO has developed a new, alternate approach to night vision technology that avoids the inherent technical limitations of older technologies. RPO’s new product is called CNOD (CMOS Night Observation Device). To understand why CNOD beats existing technology requires explaining what that technology is. Two technologies have dominated the night vision field: image intensifiers and thermal imagers.
Topics: Night Vision Technology
Quality. Quantity. Cost. In precision manufacturing, the consensus is that you can improve two out of three. You can’t get “more stuff that works better but costs less.”
Jeff Snopkowski joined the Rochester Precision Optics team in April 2015 after 8 years with another optics company. When he heard about the open position at RPO, he was excited about the opportunity to join a company that was poised for growth. We spoke with Jeff about how he’s improving manufacturing processes at RPO and what customers can expect.
RPO’s new commercial device, CMOS Night Observation Device (CNOD), is a hand-held night vision sight with the revolutionary capability of daylight operation. CNOD leaps past existing night-vision technologies to meet the demands of field use. The CNOD is proof of RPO’s two core competencies—optical system design and precision-molded plastic optics—which pay off in market-leading image clarity and light weight.