“Maintaining our tactical advantage at night will require revolutionary, game changing capabilities like color night vision. The goal of our color night vision effort is to provide the SOF operator the ability to see true color on a moonless night with just starlight–a tremendous tactical advantage”- Admiral William H. McRaven, former ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command.
Night vision systems have been around since the 1930s where they were first used by German tank operators in WWII. Since that time night vision has improved by leaps and bounds and has become an integral part of our military, giving the U.S. a great tactical advantage over its foes. It’s allowed our troops to exploit the cover of darkness to move to contact and engage our foes, as well as to save many civilians lives. Night vision gear has found its way from the battlefield to our streets, where SWAT teams and other police units employ NVGs to operate more effectively at night for tasks such as dangerous suspect apprehension, covert surveillance of illegal activity, crime response and search and rescue.
Security professionals use night vision to keep a vigilant eye on our Nation’s critical infrastructure such as power plants, refineries, manufacturing facilities and even nuclear power plants. With the affordable price of later generation NVGs, civilians have purchased thousands of these devices for safer cross-country navigation, wildlife observation and varmint hunting.
For all of night vision’s advantages and the many improvements made since its introduction in WWII it has had one glaring disadvantage. The “green glow,” monochromatic image denies the NVG viewer critical visual information: color. This missing information can be a liability or even potentially deadly. Without the vital information that seeing color can provide, law enforcement personnel may not be able to properly access the scene and make correct tactical decisions; military medics have difficulty telling blood from water, oil or other fluids, and thus may make mistakes in triage priorities; troops can have difficulty navigating terrain; and seeing color can reduce the fatigue and visual distortion green monochromatic night vision can cause. As Admiral McRaven stated in his Feb. 27, 2014, speech at the Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, being able to see color at night will help maintain our troops’ tactical advantage going forward.
Thankfully, this important deficiency of current monochromatic night vision has been addressed. The future is here and Chromatra is bringing it. Chromatra, LLC, established in 2014, is ready to introduce to the world its first product; ColorTAC™. ColorTAC, when used in conjunction with any of the over 1-million night vision devices already on the market today, provides the user with, simply, a color image at night. For those who rely on NVG’s to perform their mission, the ability to See What’s Missing™ can be the difference between life and death.
ColorTAC is founded on the Chromatra’s unique Gemini™ technology that enables the production of color images from otherwise monochromatic imaging devices, yielding impressive low light imaging performance. The ColorTAC unit operates in extreme environments, is easily deployable, lightweight, exceeds market battery life requirements and is affordable. The unit folds up quickly and compactly for storage or transportation and takes just seconds to attach to any existing PVS-14—green or white phosphor— the most common NVG device used by the military and major law enforcement agencies .
Chromatra, LLC based in Beverly, Massachusetts, an East Coast hub of technological innovation and manufacturing, will be rolling out ColorTAC™ for the law enforcement market at the 2017 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 17 – 20.