MARCH 23, 2023 – Helmet-mounted Night Vision Goggles, or NVGs, are most famous for combat missions. It is less known that law enforcement vehicle operators, like helicopter pilots, often use night vision to improve their day-to-day duties and functions.
Helicopter NVGs remarkably enhance night flying operations, whether it’s the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, especially during nighttime. It works like a video camera where the user isn’t directly seeing what they look at but instead sees an electronic image of the scene. Click here to learn more about helicopter NVGs.
Benefits for Law Enforcement Operations
Provides Night Vision
NVGs allow the user to see objects the naked eye commonly wouldn’t notice. It helps pilots and crew deal better with situations with variable lighting levels.
Improves Flight Capability
As experts say, it does not turn night into day. However, this technological advancement increases the ability of the team to see and fly at night.
Increases Safety of Operations
As it helps the user see and fly in the dark, the device decreases the possibility of collisions with terrain or artificial obstructions. Proper education, training, and apparatus application can significantly increase nighttime flying safety.
Assists with Stealth Operations
Its image intensification technology provides better sight in poorly lit situations, permitting recognition of objects and people that would generally be unrecognizable to the unaided human eye. NVGs help operations like nighttime surveillance, search and rescue, and undercover operations from being detected.
Reduces Eye Strain of Pilots
If you’re using white phosphor, it offers the users an extended comfort of up to 10 hours of less eye strain.
How do Helicopter NVGs Help Improve Law Enforcement Operations?
Search and Rescue
Using the NVGs, they help locate a missing person via land or sea. These may include people affected by natural disasters, stranded vessels, missing children, people with mental issues, older folks with Alzheimer’s, and individuals lost in the mountains.
The thermal imaging camera assists in picking up glimpses of a heat source from the aerial view through houses, ships, canyons, or tree canopies that can help inform ground crews to investigate quickly. This procedure helps hasten the search operations and rescue more people in time.
During nighttime operations, air ambulance helicopter pilots use NVGs. It improves their action time to locate rapidly, provide first aid, and transport patients. Depending on the medical emergency, most case scenarios are finding and airlifting patients from severe car crashes or other incidents. It also helps quickly locate and airlift patients with time-critical medical needs such as cardiac arrest or stroke.
NVGs benefit suspect tracking, speeding, and restricted airspace enforcement. During pursuits, most suspects are often unaware that a helicopter is on the scene because of its height above the ground. With the help of NVGS, the aircraft can remain in stealth mode, and officers on board will have a better view of the entire scenery. It gives them an advantage in locating the suspect and informing the appropriate action of the ground crew.
The aircrew liaises with the ground crews via radio, and the police helicopter crew relays each suspect vehicle’s turns and directions to aid in cornering the suspect and setting up a blockade. They also help deviate away from populated areas that may cause harm to civilians and reduce the risk of more casualties to the public.
Another advantage of NVGs on pursuits is tracking those violating restricted airspace enforcement or preventing those flying into restricted airspace. The device helps in providing better vision to the aircrew at night. It serves an integral part in the advancement of law enforcement.
Further Tracking of Suspects via Vehicles, Boats, and Aircraft
Helicopter NVGs are often used to track suspicious vehicles on land, at sea, or in the air. Depending on the case or operation, asset tracking follows from the pursuit. Crimes may vary from hostages, drug trafficking, buy-bust operations, smuggling, and other criminalities.
As mentioned, most of the time, the suspect/s are unaware of the air surveillance team, allowing them to continue their business. It enables the aircraft team to gather crucial video evidence or lead them to higher prized targets. Depending on the zoom capability of the NVG model, the device allows the aircraft to be far away from the subject without being noticed while still having excellent visuals.
Overwatch for Specialist Operations
When the known criminals take cover inside buildings, as they will not give up easily, the helicopter’s night vision systems can provide overwatch. As the operation’s eye in the sky, the team has greater coverage of the entire location or building. With their visual range, they can relay information to ground officers about what’s happening and when to enter the area.
The aircraft team helps identify and prevent suspects from escaping from doors, walls, windows, or other exit points.
Aerial Evidence Gathering
Most NVGs can capture images or record video with a built-in camera. Recording and managing the events from the air provides essential evidence of the operations. For significant cases, as they can see the bigger picture, it allows for effective asset management.
NVGs are excellent for gathering evidence of accident scenes, crime scenes, or anything else the force considers crucial. Taking a photograph or video from above gives scene investigators a better idea of what happened in a car accident or a special operation. For instance, skid marks or gunshots can be shown when a trial or investigation begins, making gathering pieces of evidence so much simpler.
Helicopters with Night Vision Systems are highly beneficial for improving law enforcement operations. Their assistance in providing better visual conditions to pilots and crew enhances most team operations in the sea, land, and air.
They mainly help with search and rescue operations, medical evacuations, high-speed pursuits, specialist operations, and gathering aerial evidence. The technological advancement of NVGs and proper training of users help hasten searches, solve crimes, save lives, and prevent public casualties.