what is autogated night vision

What Is Autogated Night Vision? – Detailed Explanation


You have recently gotten into the world of optics. And you are planning to get a good night vision optic. It can be really hard to figure out which you should get. You have heard that autogated night vision is good, but you can’t fixate on that. 

So, what is autogated night vision? 

Autogating continues to work in the background in dynamic light situations. It ensures the best possible resolution and contrast throughout. If the image intensification tube is exposed to harsh bright light, ATG controls the power supply. Therefore, the voltage on the photocathode keeps shifting. 

Sounds intriguing? Then wait no more. We have gathered all the information you need on autogated night vision. Read on to have a thorough understanding of your query. 

What is Autogated Night Vision

To understand what autogated night vision is, we must first know what automation does. Automation is an optical feature that enhances the ability of the military image intensifier tubes. 

Here, the amount of light reaching the intensifier automatically fluctuates. Therefore, the tube unit does not face any damage due to abrupt changes in light intensity. 

This process is also known as oscillating. Here, the dynamic light condition maintains a sustainable resolution and contrast. In times of weak amount fluctuations, autogating adjusts the voltage accordingly. 

It automatically adjusts the power supply to the photocathode. The voltage on the goggles frequently switches to adapt to the light situation. It keeps the optimum voltage during the “on” cycle.  

Therefore, too much light does not blind the user; it also helps reject the IONs to maintain thinner filmed or filmless designs from ION poisoning. The ION poisoning of the MCP reduces the output quality. Also, it enhances the tube burnout speed. 

The Necessity of Autogating 

Usually, night vision goggles use an infrared system. Here, it detects the heat signature to identify any shape that releases heat. Therefore, in darker situations, any movement of heat-releasing objects becomes visible. 

Night vision enhances the heat-seeking ability of the goggles. Therefore, a tiny change in the heat signature can be detected. To do that, the infrared system needs to be highly sensitive to any changes in heat. 

At times, abrupt changes in the heat occur if the light in the situation intensifies. In these circumstances, the sensitivity of this night vision becomes unbearable. Therefore, the user’s visibility gets zero, and mobility is hampered. Also, the goggles malfunction too at times like these. 

As we have already mentioned, automation comes in handy in these scenarios. Autogating adjusts the voltage flow according to the availability of light. Therefore, if there is a sudden presence of light, it does not hamper the user’s mobility. 

Suppose you’re thinking about buying an autogated night vision. You can give the given night visions a try. They are good at their job.

AGM Global Vision PVS-7 3NL2 Gen 3
AGM 12PV7123253031 Model PVS-7 3NL3 Gen 3″Level 3″ Night Vision Goggle

These are some of the really good autogated night visions. Also, they are durable. So they should last for a long time. 

The Outcome of Autogating 

Usually, we can see two outcomes in terms of autogating. Firstly, you can get a sustainable performance from the goggles. It results in maintaining optimal performance at all times. 

The system does not get momentarily shut down, which can happen in non-autogated systems. It also keeps the Polaris color as accurate as possible. 

This allows for a fluent nighttime operation discretely and uninterruptedly. Also, it provides the user with proper visual acuity. 

The second outcome is that the tube is protected from bright light’s negative influence. As the photocathode is safeguarded from any bright light, the lifespan of the night vision increases. 

Automated Power Supply 

The primary difference between autogated and non-autogated is the supply of power. In non-autogated, the high-pitched while is often found to be missing. This controls the adjustment procedure of the power supply. 

On the contrary, the system turns on and off in an automated power supply. This procedure of turning on and off occurs at a very rapid pace. This procedure, aided by the thin film attached to the microchannel plate, decreases blooming. 

The blooming is significantly lower in systems with thin-film layers. Although designs with thick films can have an acceptable blooming rate, thinner ones perform much better. The blooming on the wider film-containing system depends on the end user’s application. 

But remember that blooming should not be the only factor while choosing a night vision. 

Also, the scrubbing techniques while manufacturing the MCP are improved to overcome ion poisoning. Therefore, a sufficient period of autogating ejects the positive ions from the photocathode. Thus, photocathode poisoning decreases significantly. 

The Appropriate Consumer Base for Autogated Night Vision 

Although it is a newer and more efficient technology, not everyone needs it. The appropriate users can be those who work in a dynamic light environment. Also, those who require visual continuity will need it more. 

Only the special operations forces and the anti-terrorist unit use it in the military. And in civil circumstances, aviation pilots are the ones who have the use of it.

In HEMS or aerial firefights, this tool will become handier for them. Especially while taking off and landing in lower lights or flying at a lower altitude. 

Pilots with aviators’ night vision must constantly be subjected to dynamic light conditions, such as artificial light sources in urban areas or natural light sources in aerial firefighting. In situations like this, they continuously interfere with their navigation. 

Autogated night vision also requires more maintenance than non-autogated ones. Keeping it in an apache case is the most recommended form of maintaining it. 

Tools such as autogating aid the pilot in maintaining a consistent performance on night vision imaging. 


What is Autogating?

Autogating is a feature of military image intensifier tubes. Here, the light reaching the intensifier is automatically gated or adjusted. Therefore, the harsh bright light does not cause any damage to the unit. 

What is Ebi night vision?

The equivalent background illumination or EBI is the amount of light the human eye sees through a night vision device. But for Ebi, the image tube has to remain turned on, and no light should be on the photocathode. Normally, EBI is affected by changes in temperature. The warmer the night vision device gets, the brighter the background becomes. 

What are good night vision specs?

A good number of night vision specs vary depending on the use. Usually, a good number is between 60,000 – 70,000 range, and a bad one is between 40,000 – 60,000. The ITT/Harris(Pre L3 Harris) sheets generally do not classify it as gains, but you can find it below EBI. 


That’s all from us on what is autogated night vision. 

We hope that now you have a better understanding of it. Hence, you can choose your next night’s vision with much more knowledge.

The autogating feature is used for specific purposes; determining your usage and utilizing it thoroughly will take you far. 

So, good luck with your night vision. Until next time, have a beautiful day!

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