Night Vision Location System

Project Description

The Night Vision Location System (NVLS) is a compact, lightweight, portable night vision and target location system, designed to be used by field personnel in a military combat or field surveillance environment. It is capable of viewing targets in very low or no light conditions and determining the latitude and longitude of the user and the bearing and distance to the target. If equipped, the unit is able to communicate target and other user information to another device for tactical purposes.

The NVLS consists of a night vision imaging system, combined with a Global Positioning System receiver (GPS), a laser-based Rangefinder, an Electronic Compass, a video display system, and control electronics. The system is contained in a lightweight portable housing with an integral display unit and is powered by a rechargeable battery pack. The information displayed on system unit consists of a video image of the location where the control unit is pointed, as either a daylight or night vision image, in addition to geographic and system status information superimposed on the video image. The geographic information includes latitude and longitude of the target location pointed to by targeting reticle, all of which are superimposed on the display. System status information includes a measure of the quality of the GPS signal, calibration status of the compass, coordinates of the last located target, condition of the batteries, and unit identification text. The targeting reticle is a “crosshairs” of some sort for aiming the device.

Skills Required

  • Systems engineering design
  • Software engineering
  • Proficiency in ‘C’ programming
  • Knowledge and experience in modular software development techniques
  • An understanding of geometry and statistics
  • Familiarity with mechanical design
  • Experience developing manufacturing and inspection procedures.

Services Used

Embedded Systems, Inc. provided system design engineering services to develop and test a “proof of concept” prototype, system component selection and acquisition, and ‘C’ software development for the prototype device implementation. A proposal is being made to the client for the work required to bring the device to production.

Project Size

6 man-months for the “proof of concept” prototype development, 3 man-months for manufacturability


A military equipment supplier