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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Bowmanville ( East of Oshawa ), Ontario, Canada
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Night Vision Goggles Good for Snow Storms ?

12/07/2006 6:19 PM

Hi y'all ...

We had some snow storms already up here in Canada and I while driving through one of these snow storms at night where the snow flakes are coming right up at you due the head lights and forward velocity of the car. It helps if one turn off most of the headlights which makes the flakes less glaring. I have tried using only the yellow fog lights which helps. I was was wondering if the night vision technology can be used to increase visibility to see the road's edges and surrounding terrain and vehicles. Would a sonar fishfinder work as a radar if positioned in the front of the car or does it work only in water ?

I'd appreciate your feedback and other tips in driving in snow storms.

Regards ... Top Gun

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#1

Re: Night Vision Goggles Good for Snow Storms ?

12/07/2006 9:19 PM

Wouldn't have thought that night vision would help as it only amplifies the background light level, and in a snow environment I dont see how it could cope with the amplified glare. May also suffer from background focus issues (preventing you from focusing on the road in front of you in the distance)

LOL. Navigating a car thru a blizzard using a fish finder. Sounds like a perfect recipe for a Darwin Award.

Tips - Drive slow, use big foglights, and lots of them.

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#2

Re: Night Vision Goggles Good for Snow Storms ?

12/07/2006 11:41 PM

Night vision gear is typically infrared. It might help in some cases.

Sonar (fish) would not work in open air as it was designed for use in water, Air will change the way it operates.

A better solution would be the one I use. Move to Florida.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Night Vision Goggles Good for Snow Storms ?

12/09/2006 10:37 AM

Tried that, but the commute's a bitch and I got fired for being chronically late.

The real answer... Use the force, Luke.

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#3

Re: Night Vision Goggles Good for Snow Storms ?

12/08/2006 9:27 AM

Maybe high power infrared lamps mounted in parabolic copper coated focused reflectors would vaporize the snow a short distance in front of the vehicle -creating your own "micro-climate" (I borrowed that term from previous thread "fog lights") Thanks to all for your input on that one. My favorite was jdst's Lancaster bomber landing light mounted on the Edsel melting the paint off of the hoods of oncoming vehicles with their off-road lamps on high. Nice.

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#5

Re: Night Vision Goggles Good for Snow Storms ?

12/09/2006 1:21 PM

Yes, sonar does work out of water, using an ultrasonic prox sensor and some hardware backup. How do you thing all those robots got around in the DARPA Challenge?

NVG's do not work soley with infra red, they amplify all wavelengths of light. Using them for driving in the snow would work, BUT:

- Your fog lights would probably overwhelm the NVG's, you would still see, but with the sensitivity dialed down to accomodate the lights, you lose the ability to see in the lower levels of light further down the road.

- What happens when an approaching car's headlights hit you on the face?

- What would the reaction of the local constabulary be when they pull you over for driving without headlights?

- NVG's effectiveness are proportional to their cost. A $500 pair would be ok for walking in the woods at night & not falling off the trail, but are you willing to spend $5000 or more for a pair with good enough resolution to let you carry off driving at night?

If your goal is to operate with more safety while driving in a snowstorm, a better approach may be to investigate some of the civilian low light imaging systems that are fairly low cost. These systems typically mount a lens in front of a CCD chip, with a small LCD for viewing on the back. Split the device into two halves, mount the camera in the windshield, the viewer on or in the dash. Add some spotlights on top of your vehicle with IR filters over them, and you should be able to see quite a ways down the road with this system, and still keep the foglights on to satisfy the cops.

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#6

Re: Night Vision Goggles Good for Snow Storms ?

12/09/2006 4:29 PM

Night vision goggles work good at night, but usually not in a snowstorm - there's too much return from the snowflakes if you are activiely illuminating your path; if you are trying to go passive, a heavy snow will greatly reduce your ambient light, greatly reducing your NVG effectiveness. I've been flying in snowstorms where the ambient light was so great we didn't need the NVG's, but the pilots had the NVG's on which were getting washed out by the snow (from the ambient light) - the pilots couldn't come off NVG's, so we had to leave the storm area because they were washing out so bad they couldn't see. I don't know about the SONAR, I've never messed with it. If the snow is pretty light, NVG's might work but you'll likely need to kill your headlights to keep from washing out - good for you, bad for oncoming motorists looking for lights to identify oncoming traffic!

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#7

Re: Night Vision Goggles Good for Snow Storms ?

12/10/2006 11:47 AM

I use headlights in cruddy weather even when I can see the road just fine. They help make sure that the other guy can see me too. It is a simple CYA (cover your rear) precaution.

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