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MILITARY NEWS : ARMY PROTOTYPE GOGGLES
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From: MSN NicknameGunrockets  (Original Message)Sent: 20/09/2003 00:33
Prototype Goggles to Give Army Edge
By Pfc. David Foley
Army News Service
September 15, 2003

FORT BENNING, Ga. -- For years, the Army has used image intensification technology and thermal viewing technologies. Now, an experimental goggle may combine both technologies to give soldiers an edge on the battlefield.

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The Army research lab has been experimenting with prototypes of goggles that combine image intensification technology and thermal viewing technology.

"There are three companies that have created prototypes, and all three are using the same technology, but in different ways," said Mark Bylan, project manager for sensors and lasers at the Army Research Lab.

The lab is using two existing goggle types as a comparison for the prototypes: the AN/PVS-7 Binocular and the AN/PVS-14 Monocular.

"Image intensification goggles are proliferated throughout the world, and we are trying to top that technology," said Beth Redden, chief, Army Research Lab, Human Research Element Directorate, Field Element. "The bottom line is to see first."

"We are looking at a trade-off and a combination of technology to provide the soldier with the best of both worlds," said Dutch Waldheim, controller, Dismounted Battlespace Battle Labs.

"This is very exciting," said Maj. Greg Paul, assistant project manager, sensors and lasers, "because when you fuse this technology, it will really enhance the soldiers' fighting capability."

The research lab uses soldiers from several units throughout the Army to perform drills with the equipment and collect data that will be evaluated.

The experiment consists of five events determined to be vital skills for the infantry, Redden said, and each event is conducted by a different set of soldiers.

The soldiers tested the equipment on its capabilities with target detection in an urban terrain environment, target detection in a woodland environment, target detection during a tunnel-clearing exercise with no light, target detection in an open field and how well the soldiers were able to negotiate obstacles while wearing the equipment.

"We are looking at the vision aspect (of the goggles), but we are also looking at the configuration," Redden said.

The soldiers need to be able to perform individual movement techniques while wearing the equipment, she said.

The Army Research Lab will use the data collected to determine which device has the best overall rating, and they may combine some of the other devices' capabilities into a single system, Bylan said.


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