THOR LTV 160 3-9x

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How Does Night Vision Work

All Starlight technology Night Vision Devices, systems, and night vision generations consist of several main parts: an objective lens, an eyepiece, a power supply and an image intensifier tube (Photocathode Tube). Night vision devices gather existing ambient light (starlight, moonlight or infra-red light) through the front lens. This light, which is made up of photons goes into a photocathode tube that changes the photons to electrons. The electrons are then amplified to a much greater number through an electrical and chemical process.The electrons are then hurled against a phosphorus screen that changes the amplified electrons back into visible light that you see through the eyepiece. The image will now be a clear green-hued amplified re-creation of the scene you were observing.


    It is primarily used by law enforcement or for professional applications. This is because the cost of a 2nd Gen. unit is approximately $500.00 to $1000.00 more then a 1st Gen. The main difference between a 1st and a 2nd night vision generation unit is the addition of a micro-channel plate, commonly referred to as a MCP. The MCP works as an electron amplifier and is placed directly behind the photocathode. The MCP consists of millions of short parallel glass tubes.

    When the electrons pass through these short tubes, thousands more electrons are released. This extra process allows 2nd generation units to amplify the light many more times then 1st generation giving you a brighter and sharper image.


    You can see cascading layers of awareness about the detail of something, from low detail to high depending on distance.

    Generation 2 IIT

    ATNs standard 2nd generation tubes are high quality with exceptional brightness and resolution. Each tube has a micro channel plate, multi-alkaline photocathode with built-in power supply.

    Photo Cathode type: Multi-Alkali
    Resolution from 40 to 45 lp/mm
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 12 to 20
    5,000+ hour tube life


    HPT tubes are an upgrade of the CGT Generation tube. They are a Multi-Alkali compact 18mm format MCP Image Intensifier. The HPT tube increases sensitivity, resolution, Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), and the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF). These improvements produce an exceptional image clarity and brightness. Most HPT specifications typically are equivalent to standard 3rd generation. Highlights of the HPT specifications are the typical SNR of 22 and resolution of 64 lp/mm.

    Photo Cathode type: Multi-Alkali
    Resolution from 40 to 45 lp/mm
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 12 to 20
    5,000+ hour tube lifee

    CGT 3

    Photo Cathode type: Multi-Alkali
    Resolution from 55 to 72 lp/mm
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 16 to 24
    10,000-hour tube life
  • Generation 3

    By adding a sensitive chemical, gallium arsenide to the photocathode a brighter and sharper image has been achieved over 2nd generation units. An ion barrier film was also added to increase tube life. 3rd Gen. provides the user with good to excellent low light performance.


    You can see cascading layers of awareness about the detail of something, from low detail to high depending on distance.


    Our standard 3rd generation image intensifier tubes are of the highest quality. They have a micro channel plate, GaAs photocathode, and a completely self-contained integral high-voltage power supply. These 3rd Generation tubes provide a combined increase in resolution, signal to noise and photosensitivity over tubes with a multi-alkali photocathode. Generation 3 is the standard for the USA military.

    Photo Cathode type: Gallium Arsenide
    Resolution 64 lp/mm
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio 22 Typical
    10,000-hour tube life

    3A Gen. Premium select IIT

    Our 3A Gen. Premium select IITs are the highest quality of our generation 3 IITs. These IITs are hand picked to provide the highest quality and specifications available in our 3rd Gen. line. They have a micro channel plate, GaAs photocathode, and a completely self-contained integral high-voltage power supply.

    Photo Cathode type: Thin Film GaAs
    Resolution from 64 to 72 lp/mm
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio 26 Typical
    10,000-hour tube life

    3P Gen. AutoGated

    ATN Night Vision units with the 3P designation use Thin-Filmed, AutoGated Image Intensifier tubes. The industry leading Thin-Filmed, AutoGated image tubes utilize a gated power supply providing truly outstanding performance in high-light or light-polluted areas, such as urban environments. The Thin-Filmed, Autogated tube with gated power supply minimizes any “halo” effects. “Halo” is often associated with using night vision devices in an urban area where random street lights are often an issue with early Generation Night Vision devices. Night Vision units with Thin-Filmed, Autogated tubes have a resolution of 64-72lp/mm and a typical signal to noise ratio of 26. All Night Vision devices utilizing Thin-Filmed, Autogated Image Intensifier tubes come with a data record sheet. Units with Thin-Filmed, Autogated tubes are not available for export. A signed export compliance and end use statement is required prior to shipping of these units.

    Photo Cathode type: Gallium Arsenide
    Resolution from 64 to 72 lp/mm
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 25-30
    10,000-hour tube life
  • WPT

    In ATNs continuing effort to supply our clients with cutting edge Night Vision solutions we are proud to introduce a new line of select units based on ATN White Phosphor Technology© (WPT™).

    Studies show that nighttime scenes appear remarkably more natural in black and white versus the usual green. B&W provides clearer information about contrast, shapes and shadows. ATNs White Phosphor Technology© provides users with this natural B&W night vision image.

    Operators that tested units that use ATN WPT™ reported a significantly better degree of detail, overall contrast, full moon similarity and range of shades. WPT™ provides more discriminating shades of intensity between white and black than between green and black resulting in better contrast and depth perception then when compared to green phosphor NVG’s.

    The majority of the WPT™ performance characteristics are on par or better then the latest Gallium Arsenide based image intensifier tubes. WPT™ specifications include typical resolution of 68lp/mm (with some over 74lp/mm) and Signal-to-Noise figures as high as 25.

    7 out of 10 users name WPT™ as a “Night Vision Preference” when compared with common green night vision, especially in an urban environment. “No lab testing needed on WPT™ – the depth perception is phenomenal and noticeably better than what I used in the past.” – SOF Operator K.

    WPT™ is available now in limited quantities in a wide variety of systems such as ATN PVS14/6015 tactical monocular, ATN NVM-14 multifunctional pocket-scope/goggle, ATN NVG7 and ATN PS15 goggles, ATN ARES 4 and ATN ARES 6 rifle scopes and ATN PS28 Night Vision Clip-on.

    Designed for Special Ops WPT™ is not a toy. If your life depends on your gear and you want to improve your operational effectiveness you should check it out.


    represents the biggest technological breakthrough in image intensification of the past 10 years. By removing the ion barrier film and “Gating” the system Gen 4 demonstrates substantial increases in target detection range and resolution, particularly at extremely low light levels.

    The use of film less technology and auto-gated power supply in 4th generation image intensifiers result in:

    Up to 100% improvement in photo response
    Superb performance in extremely low light level (better S/N and EBI)
    At least triple high light level resolution (a minimum of 36 lp/mm compared to 12 lp/mm)

    4th GEN. GATED/IIT

    ATNs Autogated / Filmless inverting image intensifier tubes improve night operational effectiveness for users of night vision goggles and other night vision devices. The filmless micro channel plate provides a higher signal-tonoise ratio than standard 3rd Gen. IITs, resulting in better image quality under low-light conditions. An Autogated power supply further improves image resolution under high light conditions and a reduced halo effect that minimizes interference from bright light sources. The reduced Halo maximizes the effectiveness of the Night Vision device in dynamic lighting conditions such as those experienced, for example, in night operations in urban areas.

    4th Gen. IIT

    Photo Cathode type: Filmless GaAs
    Resolution from 64 to 72 lp/mm
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 25 to 30
    Autogated power Supply
    10,000-hour tube life

    With significant improvement in contrast level and in performance under all light conditions, 4th generation represents the top of the line performance in the night vision market.


All Starlight scopes need some light to amplify. This means that if you were in complete darkness you could not see. Due to this we have a built in infra-red illuminator (IRI) on all of our scopes. Basically what an IRI does is throw out a beam of infra-red light that is near invisible to the naked eye but your NVD can see it. This allows you to use your scope even in total darktness.

The IRI works like a flashlight and the distance you can see with it will be limited. We do use the most powerful eye-safe illuminator on the market. This allows our IRI to extend out to 100 yards However, because of the power at a short distance the IRI may cover only 40-60% of the viewing area.

Dallas Store

3000 Grapevine Mills PWKY
Space #133 Grapevine, TX 76051

Austin Store

2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy
Suite N02, Austin, TX 78746

Houston Store

5015 Westheimer Road
Suite A1192, Houston TX 77056

Atlanta Store

5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Suite 513, Lawrenceville GA 30043

Chicago Store

GAT Guns Store 970 Dundee Ave
East Dundee, IL 60118

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