Image intensifiers

Image intensifier tubes (IITs) are vacuum tubes that amplify a low light-level image to observable levels. Image intensifier tubes are the most important modules of night vision devices that play crucial role in defense/security/industrial applications.
Technology of manufacturing of image intensifier tubes is very difficult and performance parameters of modern IITs varies even within the same technological process. Next, test report offered by manufacturers cannot be fully trusted because there are some differences in test methods used by different manufactures. Further on, there are literature sources presenting conflicting claims of different manufacturers. It is quite common to find on the world market two night vision devices (or two image intensifier tubes) of the same data sheet parameters but of totally different image quality. Inverse situation is possible, too.
Due to reasons mentioned above testing image intensifier tubes is of critical importance for both their manufacturers, manufacturers of night vision devices (NVDs) and final users of NVDs.

Testing of image intensifier tubes is typically done according to methods recommended by US MIL standards. These test methods refer to testing potted tubes after encapsulation. There are however some projects when more detail testing is needed using non-MILs methods or bare tubes before encapsulation are to be tested.
Inframet is a world top leader in equipment for testing image intensifier tubes and offers a series of high tech test stations:

  1. ITS-I test station
  2. ITS-P test station
  3. ITS-R test station
  4. ITS-IP test station
  5. IRAD test stations
  6. IPAS test stations

ITS series stations are basically for testing potted image intensifier tubes using typical test methods recommended by MIL standards. ITS-P station enables measurement of photometric parameters, ITS-I station enables measurement of imaging parameters, ITS-R station enables measurement of reliability parameters, and optional ITS-IP enables measurement imaging and most important photometric parameters. These stations are optimal for great majority of manufacturers and users of image intensifier tubes.

ITS stations can be also used for testing bare tubes during R&D projects or manufacturing/repairing process but such use is optional. IRAD and IPAS are two test stations developed for applications where detail testing of bare tubes is needed using non-MILs methods. IRAD is test station enables measurement of a series of photometric/radiometric/temporal parameters of bare/potted tubes during R&D projects by scientific institutes. IPAS is a test station optimized to support manufacturing or repairing of IITs by enabling computerized control of voltages delivered to electrodes of tested IITs.

 ITS-I test station

ITS-P test station

 ITS-R test station

  ITS-IP test station

 IRAD test station

IPAS test station

Optional tools

The HVP14 power supply is a special high voltage power supply optimized for use in systems for testing bare image intensifier tubes. It is built as set of of four HV power modules: HVP-1 to power photocathode circuit, : HVP-2 to power MCP circuit, HVP-3 to power screen circuit, and HVP-4 – an option for some Gen3 tubes when voltages higher than 6000 V are needed. The HVP power supply differ significantly from typical laboratory high voltage power supplies. The HVP power modules can be connected into a cascade. Flexible grounding (any  output socket of any  power supply can be grounded) is possible, too. Next, the voltage regulation ranges are optimized for testing bare image intensifier tubes.

 HVP14 high voltage power supply

Market situation

Inframet is the top world leader in equipment for testing image intensifier tubes. Well known manufacturers of II tubes or manufacturers of night vision devices use our test stations to improve quality control of their products. Other important group of our customers are scientific institutes doing research in field of image intensifier tubes.

If you have further questions please contact us.