OVNI-M and OVNI-B are manufactured with the world's most efficient intensifier tubes, type GEN3 Thin-Film White Phosphor P45. And each tube is available in FOM1800, FOM2100, FOM2400, FOM2600.
★ a GEN3 Thin-Film tube means that the tube is 3rd generation and the Thin-Film means that the thickness of the ionic film of the tube has been reduced to its maximum to increase its performance.
★ White Phosphor P45 s perfectly adapted to astronomy as it has a very natural tint (slightly bluish gray), much better than green phosphorus (delivering a greenish tint).
★ FOM (Figure of Merit) is the primary measure of performance. It is the minimum FOM because it will automatically be higher. For example a FOM1800 means that the tube will have a FOM equal to or greater than 1800. Knowing that a FOM1800 is already exceptional and that a FOM2600 is simply the best, it appeared very recently, in September 2020.
★ each OVNI-M and OVNI-B is delivered with a tube datasheet. FOM is not the only measurement. It will directly impact other values such as SNR, EBI, Luminous gain, Luminous Sensitivity, Limiting Resolution... Some values are more important than others so each tube is manufactured according to our own performance criterias in order to be perfectly optimized for astronomy.
With the help of the diagram below, the operation of the intensifier tube can be explained in 3 parts:
- The photons composing the ambient light (visible and near infrared) are transformed into electrons by the photocatode.
- The MCP (MicroChannel Plate) multiplies electrons by thousands. About 70,000 times more.
- The generated electrons will hit the phosphorus (green or white) and be transformed into photons in the same original alignment before passing through the eyepiece to be captured by the eye.
There are 3 generations of intensifier tubes (4 generations if we take into account Generation 0).
Generation 1 (x1000 amplification), very bulky and not very efficient, was developed for the American army during the Vietnam war. It is this generation that is most often found on the internet.
Generation 2 (x20000 amplification), developed a few years later, marks a great evolution because it becomes easily transportable but remains poorly performing for astronomy.
Generation 3 (amplification x70000) was developed for the 1st Gulf War in Iraq. It is the most powerful generation that benefits from the latest technological advances.
Generation 4 is sometimes wrongly referred to, but it is not officially recognized. These are tubes called Filmless (without ionic film) or Thin-Film (thin ionic film), with exceptional performance and are an evolution to the Generation 3. These are the tubes used for OVNI-M and OVNI-B.
Since the 1980s, some astronomers have been experimenting night vision with night vision devices. These monoculars are intended for terrestrial use and although they are efficient, they suffer from many limitations for astronomy. It is on this basis that the OVNI-M and the OVNI-B were born, taking the best of the military eyepieces associated with the most powerful intensifier tubes and making many improvements perfectly adapted to astronomy.
OVNI-M / OVNI-B (military grade tube GEN3 Thin-Film WP P45)
★ use at prime focus (1.25" or 2" barrel ) AND in afocal
★ hand-held with camera lenses, for a very wide field of view
★ minimum lifespan 10000 hours (i.e. 3 hours each night for 10 years)
★ high optical quality lenses, multi-coated
★ manual gain control included
★ OVNI-M et OVNI-B are specifically developed for use with refractor and reflector telescopes. Many perfectly adapted accessories.
★ clean tube, i.e. without any dark spots in the field of vision
★ high FOM for maximum light and details on observed objects
★ other values perfectly optimized for astronomy. Example EBI at 0.8 or less and gain between 50000 and 70000.
★ autogated function to protect the tube
★ white phosphor tube ideal for astronomy, neutral and very natural color
★ community of astronomers using OVNI-M and OVNI-B around the world with different types of telescopes
PVS-14 or other night vision systems with GEN2/GEN3 tubes
★ use in afocal only. Impossible at prime focus
★ impossible to add camera lenses, manual use at x1 only
★ GEN2 has a lifespan of 800 to 1000 hours, i.e. 10 times less than a GEN3
★ low optical quality lenses
★ manual gain control very rarely included
★developed for terrestrial use, not optimized for use with a telescope, various problems (insufficient backfocus...) and without accessories
★ most of the tubes have dark spots that are highly disturbing for astronomy
★ Low or medium FOM, low details on the deep sky
★ other lower values. Example EBI up to 2.5 and gain between 20000 and 40000 times
★ autogated function rarely included because often reserved for the best tubes
★ the vast majority of green phosphor tubes, a greenish hue not much appreciated for astronomy
OVNI Night Vision creates night vision systems mainly for scientific use (space agencies, professional observatories, space domain awareness, amateur astronomy ...). We have authorizations and export permits to ship to the following countries : European Union, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. For specific projects, for other uses or for shipping to countries other than those listed above, please inform us before ordering.