ColorTAC Provides Clip-On Colour Night Vision For PVS-14
Night Vision technology has exponentially increased the capabilities of soldiers and law enforcement professionals. Being able to see in the dark provides a marked advantage in operational environments. But even the most cutting edge technology has its limitations. Image intensification devices have always been monochromatic, making the ability to decipher contrast between colours an impossibility. Chromatra LLC was founded by a group of innovative thinkers with experience in electro-mechanical design and military optics. After years of development, their patented Gemini technology is brought to the market.
The ColorTAC CVA-14 is a rugged device that clips onto a standard PVS-14 night vision monocular. It contains two filter wheels that rotate in sync fore and aft of the NVG. The two colour channels are viewed normally through the PVS-14 and the user’s brain perceives the encoded colour information in near-true colour.
Unlike previous attempts to broaden the colour spectrum for image intensifiers, ColorTAC represents the night in near-true colour. Earlier attempts to filter colour on existing night vision systems failed because they would arbitrarily assign colours to surfaces. ColorTAC represents objects, surfaces and patterns in near-true colours for increased identification ability. The product is “near-true” colour because certain lighting conditions may cause certain colours to appear slightly off their actual. Colours will still appear in the correct hue, but their shade may be just to the right or left of the actual colour if it was viewed in daylight.
The CVA-14 works in conjunction with a legacy PVS-14 or MOD-3B monocular. Due to its size, the CVA-14+PVS-14 is not recommended for head mount. Though head mounting it is possible, hand held application like a thermal imager is better. The CVA-14 increases the users’ detection capability by allowing them to better see people or objects that might otherwise blend together in a monochromatic image. This is especially useful in Surveillance and Search & Rescue operations. Colour capability also greatly enhances identification of targets. An individual target in a group of people can quickly and easily be PID’d by the color of his/her clothing. The same can be done with vehicles and buildings.
The CVA-14 also features a quick swap ability that allows the user to turn off the color and view the scene through the legacy night vision only. This facilitates communication with other team members who may not be using a ColorTAC device, because it allows the observer to see what their teammates see. Tracking (and medical triage) is also easier when blood trails actually show up as red stains. Fast information processing is critical in the defence and security communities. Time is life, and the ability to quickly make sense of what you see can greatly impact the safety of you and your team. It can mean the difference between mission success and mission failure, proactively neutralising a threat or reactively dealing with the fallout.
ColorTAC works with both green and white phosphor image intensification tubes, as well as infrared lasers and illuminators. While the image is incredible with a standard green thin-filmed tube, it is even better and clearer with an un-filmed white phosphor tube. IR lasers and illuminators show up clear as day. They have a white-ish hue under the CVA-14.
The CVA-14 is a rugged, duty-ready system. The housing is a durable impact-resistant polymer that is engineered and manufactured by Wilcox Industries, a leader in defense industry production. It easily collapses for storage when not in use and installs in seconds without tools. The CVA-14 is powered by two AA lithium batteries and produces a quiet hum while in operation. The hum cannot be heard from more than a few feet away. Operation is simple with a single push button controlling power and pallet swap. A small Color Enhancer lever can increase or decrease color saturation in the image to aid the user in detection and identification.