An interview with Rick Bryant of RPO and Andres Cifuentes of ASE Optics Europe
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
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:
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.
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.
Rick Bryant joined Rochester Precision Optics in 2013 after his service in the United States Marine Corps and nearly 20 years as the Director of Visual Augmentation Systems for Naval Special Warfare Development Group. Rick, in collaboration with our VP of Engineering Bob Benson, has been integral to the development and launch of RPO’s CNOD CMOS system and the direction of our night vision R&D. In addition to his R&D leadership, Rick has also led fielding, logistics, and other responsibilities that come with heading advanced programs.
RPO’s CNOD System is featured in the latest Law Enforcement Technology and Law Enforcement Product News. Because of its true facial identification capability, the CNOD offers superior enhanced performance for SWAT and police departments.
CNOD, CMOS Night Observation Device, enables operators to see in bright sun and low light by combining high definition sight with high contrast and high resolution in a single device. The device is neither an image intensification system nor a thermal system; it is a digital system. CNOD can be deployed in three ways: as a hand held monocular, as a clip-on, in-line weapon sight for use with your day scope or as a stand-alone weapon sight with reticle of choice. Because of its multi-functionality, the CNOD system is unmatched in regards to digital, image intensified night vision and thermal sights in the current market.