The military has long investigated the feasibility, utility, and cost of night-driving systems that do not use visible light, or any other illumination. Early systems often used near-infrared headlights with filters that reject the visible. The drivers used Snooperscope viewers. More recently, passive systems that rely on the radiation emitted from the scene have been developed and employed. Of late, the commercial automobile industry has become interested in the prospects of such technology.
Several advantages are inherent in a passive infrared night-driving system. One is that the infrared view is generally better than the view one gets with headlights. Another is that the infrared system is not âblindedâ by the headlights of the oncoming car. Still another is that the infrared system does better imaging through light fog and haze. It is my opinion that the infrared system should be included as an aid in driving under adverse conditionsâlow illumination, haze, and fog.
This chapter delineates the design process for such a system.
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