Zero Dark Thirty: Night Vision for Critical Missions

Posted by The RPO Team on Jan 29, 2018 11:55:00 AM
According to IMFDB: A SEAL takes aim with his HK416 with the AN/PEQ-15 ATPIAL activated. Note that he appears to be wearing a set of GPNVG-18's (L-3 Ground Panoramic Night Vision Goggles).

The critically-acclaimed military drama Zero Dark Thirty is one of the first movies to portray the US Navy SEALs 2011-raid on Osama Bin Laden following a decade long manhunt.  The film offers a compelling glimpse at the defense technologies critical to dangerous missions and the intensity of coordinating maneuvers in dark and unknown environments.

As RPO’s Rick Bryant (Director of Advanced Programs) explains in a recent night vision Q&A, seven years is “a lifetime” in night vision electro optics. In 2011, despite Zero Dark Thirty’s portrayal of all SEALS on the operation wearing Wide Field of View night vision goggles, these particular devices were so advanced that there were only two prototypes available for the real-life mission. Developments in plastic optics by Rochester Precision Optics increased performance and decreased system weight, to improve visibility and reduce strain on the first two operators in the door. zero-dark-thiry-night-vision-L-3.jpg


Since Rochester Precision Optics’s critical involvement in break-through night vision systems, a lot has changed. Not only are digital systems beginning to make advances against traditional image intensification systems, precision polymer optics have dramatically reduced weight for head-mounted monocular and binocular night vision systems.

Our latest system, the CNOD DR day/night optic, a CMOS digital device, was unveiled at the 2018 SHOT Show last week. The CNOD DR interfaces with a Laser Range Finder(LRF)/ballistic calculator in a weapons-mounted configuration to provide a disturbed reticle, a feature which provides a trajectory-compensated aiming point for first shot accuracy.

Learn more about CNOD.

RPO CNOD Illuminator

With our out-of-band illuminator, the CNOD allows an operator to illuminate a pickup truck at 1000 meters in total darkness. 

As we were in 2011, our optical design and manufacturing teams are proud to continue to take the lead in advanced night vision technology.


To learn more about RPO’s IR optics capabilities...

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Topics: Night Vision Technology, CNOD, Plastic Optics