Technical Specifications

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The ITT image intensifier is completely self-contained with an integral high-voltage power supply. Equipped with automatic brightness control (ABC), this power supply provides constant output image brightness as light levels increase. It also provides bright-source protection to guard the tube against exposure to high levels of light.

The Gen 3 photocathode is very sensitive to low-radiation levels of visible and, especially, near infrared light. It also provides very high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for extended detection ranges at very low light levels. The 6-micron channel spacing in ITT’s Micro Channel Plate provides exceptional resolution. The MCP has a thin ion-barrier film that preserves photocathode sensitivity during operation, thereby greatly extending the life of Gen 3 tubes

What Makes Generation 3 Ideal For Astronomy?

The primary difference between Generation 2 and 3 is the photocathode. Generation 2 uses a multi alkali photocathode while Generation 3 uses gallium Arsenide. Gallium Arsenide provides a significant increase in photoresponse and tube life. Other differences in performance will be image tube resolution, tube gain and signal to noise ratio. By adding a sensitive chemical, gallium arsenide, to the photocathode, a brighter and sharper image was achieved over the 2nd generation. Additionally, the Micro Channel Plate in the Gen 3 is coated with an ion barrier film for increased tube life.

How Night Vision Technology Works

Night vision devices gather existing ambient light such as starlight, moonlight or infra-red light, through the front lens. This light, which is made up of photons goes into a photocathode tube that converts the photons to electrons. The electrons are then amplified to a much greater number through an electrical and chemical process using a microchannel plate. The electrons are then hurled against a phosphorus screen that changes the amplified electrons back into visible light that you see through the eyepiece. The image will now be a clear green-hued amplified re-creation of the scene you were observing. Read more...

  • Image Intensifier Tubes - ITT Generation 3 Thin Film Photocathode - Tested & Hand Selected
  • Photocathode: Gallium Arsenide
  • Output Screen - P43 Phosphor
  • Luminous Gain @ 0.000002 foot-candles: 40,000 to 70,000
  • Resolution: 64 lp/mm - 72 lp/mm available
  • Dark Spots: 100% Clean Tubes - Dark Spots Are Measured To .001"
  • PCR (Photocathode Sensitivity) - 1800 ma minimum, up to 2500 ma available
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 21.0 minimum - up to 30.0 available
  • EBI Values - 1.0 -max to 2.5 max available
  • Battery: 2 AAA Batteries - approximate life 40 hours
  • Nominal Tube Life - 10,000 Hours
  • Every unit comes in a high quality Pelican® Case (model 1450)
  • Telescope Adapter - 2" Nosepiece with 1.25" Adapter available


The image intensifier must be used in dark conditions. Do NOT operate the product in daylight. Avoid operation with high output point sources of illumination in the viewing field such as streetlights, auto headlamps etc. Do not use the system to view the moon at any phase. Avoid viewing bright planets. A bright, high contrast object, viewed in a stationary position for extended periods may cause a permanent blemish on the tube voiding the warranty. The BIPH is designed for low brightness astronomical objects such as globular clusters, star fields, galaxies and nebulae. The new image intensifier tube's 2 year warranty is subject to evaluation by ITT Night Vision. The 100% clean used tube's 1 year warranty is subject to evaluation by Night Vision Astronomy's night vision tube supplier. Tubes that have been damaged by misuse as described herein will void the warranty. Avoiding bright light sources prolongs the tube life. The tube will not be damaged by brief exposure to bright sources such as an aircraft with landing lights illuminated flying across the field of view. Prices and specifications subject to change without notice.

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