Recently reported in Science Daily a product developed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center
has been made available to Civil Air Operations, where previously it was only accessible to The Military.
The Vanderbilt LifeFlight night vision technology has the ability to enhance light 10,000 times; the air ambulance service's new night vision goggles essentially turn night into day.
"You can see a lit cigarette 10 miles away," said Wilson Matthews, R.N., E.M.T., chief flight nurse for LifeFlight's base in Lebanon, Tenn., who is part of the night vision transition. "You go from seeing nothing to seeing the texture of tree leaves."
Matthews said night vision will be most useful when making scene landings because pilots and nurses will be able to see the trees, power lines, rising terrain and other hazards on the ground.
"Night vision is absolutely amazing. I have been at LifeFlight since 1997, and this is the single best thing we have done to enhance safety," he said. Military demand having dropped, this is the first time that the goggles have been available to civilian aviation operations.