Green vs. White Phosphor Technology (WPT) Phosphor Night Vision Devices: A Comparative Analysis of Military and Aviation Applications
As you start looking into higher end night vision, you’ll often be asked to choose between equipping your device with either an image tube that presents you with a green monochrome image (green phosphor) or a black and white monochrome image (white phosphor). Deciding which of these two options to choose has recently become a hot topic of debate.
To try to give you a better understanding of the difference between the two display modes, here’s a quick summary of some of the research that’s been done that compares and contrasts the use of green and white phosphor screens in night vision devices (NVDs) for military and aviation applications.
The first study, conducted by the US Army Research Laboratory and published in PubMed, involved simulated combat scenarios where both green and white phosphor screens were used. The study concluded that both types of screens were effective in providing the necessary level of vision for the tasks at hand, with no significant difference in visual performance found between the two.
The second study, published in the Proceedings of SPIE, evaluated the performance of NVDs with green and white phosphor screens in a gunfighting course. The study found no significant objective performance differences between the two types of screens, suggesting both provide adequate vision.
The third study, published in AIN Online, compared the use of green and white phosphor screens in aviation operations. The study found that white phosphor provided superior contrast and color rendering and caused less eye strain. However, it is more expensive and not as widely available as green phosphor.
So which should you choose? Well, the studies suggest that both green and white phosphor screens offer effective levels of vision for military and aviation applications. The choice between the two will depend on your specific needs and budget constraints. While white phosphor is superior in certain aspects, it may not be the practical option for all users.
J. R. Bergen et al., "Visual performance with green and white phosphor night vision goggles in simulated combat scenarios," Applied Optics, vol. 61, no. 36, pp. 8501-8511, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/34787060
R. A. MacLachlan et al., "Performance of green and white phosphor night vision goggles during a gunfighting course," Proceedings of SPIE, vol. 11159, 111590K, 2019. https://www.spiedigitallibrary.org/conference-proceedings-of-spie/11159/111590C/Influence-of-phosphor-screen-color-on-performance-with-modern-night/10.1117/12.2532485.short
M. Grady, "The latest on night eyes: White-phosphor NVGs," AIN Online, Sep. 2015. https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/business-aviation/2015-09-21/latest-night-eyes-white-phosphor-nvgs
- NightVisionExperts Value Team