Elbit Systems Of America has been granted a patent for a night vision system with an innovative microchannel plate design. The system includes an image intensifier tube with a unique configuration of layers on the microchannel plate, enhancing performance in low-light conditions. GlobalData’s report on Elbit Systems Of America gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Elbit Systems Of America, was a key innovation area identified from patents. Elbit Systems Of America's grant share as of February 2024 was 81%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Night vision system with improved microchannel plate

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Elbit Systems Of America LLC

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11901151B2) discloses a night vision system that includes an image intensifier tube with a unique configuration. The system comprises a photocathode, a phosphor-covered anode, and a microchannel plate with channel openings and specific layers arranged between the photocathode and the phosphor-covered anode. The microchannel plate is designed with an input face and an output face, with a contact metal layer coupled to a voltage supply to generate an electric field through the channel openings. Additionally, the electron backscatter layer and secondary electron booster layer are strategically formed on the input face and sidewall surface of each channel opening to enhance performance.

Furthermore, the patent also covers a method for making a microchannel plate, involving the formation of glass cores surrounded by glass cladding, etching the glass cores to create spaced channels, and depositing specific layers on the input face to enhance electron backscattering and electron multiplication. The method includes etching the glass cladding, forming the contact metal layer, electron backscatter layer, and secondary electron booster layer, and coupling the contact metal to a bias voltage. The process results in a microchannel plate with improved functionality for night vision systems, with specific parameters for the thickness and composition of the electron backscatter layer. Overall, the patent provides a detailed description of the night vision system and the method for manufacturing a microchannel plate to enhance night vision technology.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.