Technical Specifications: IR Goggles
CLASSIFIED LEVEL YELLOW
PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit
Technical Document, Delta Clearance
Filed: 20 March 2084
By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command
The alien attack on Mumbai made our situation painfully clear. Their technology is far more advanced than ours. The complete inability of Commonwealth troops to make a dent in the Mumbai offensive revealed critical weaknesses in current military training and equipment. They lost three battalions just bringing the aliens to a standstill without inflicting significant casualties. PHALANX has to overcome these odds, and to do that we need the very best human technology has to offer.
The Excalibur Program was created not only to find the right weapons to combat the alien threat, but also to find armour and other items of battlefield utility to help our soldiers complete their missions and return to base alive. These items are designed to increase a soldier's combat effectiveness or general survivability.
Infrared night-vision imaging has been used on battlefields for generations, and miniaturisation technology has allowed it to become part of a soldier's standard issue for nighttime operations. Advances in electronics over the last 30 years have allowed IR imaging equipment to shrink to the size of swimming goggles with no loss of efficiency.
These goggles pick up all infrared emissions in the area and display them on the inside of the lenses. They can be easily worn for the duration of a nighttime engagement, greatly extending a soldier's visual range in the darkness and allowing him to see targets through thin walls. Thick walls present a greater obstacle and may obscure targets inside entirely. Of course, there is no way to distinguish between the IR signatures of civilians and those of aliens whenever we do not have direct line of sight. Any readings taken through walls or other obstacles will not be conclusive.
Our IR goggles will work even during the day, though their effectiveness will be greatly reduced in daylight.
Unfortunately, this technology does have its drawbacks. Wearing goggles limits the soldier's peripheral vision and reduces hand-eye coordination, causing a slight drop in accuracy. They will hamper a soldier's eyesight as long as they are worn. Worse, our records from Mumbai confirm that some aliens with low heat emissions don't show up on infrared at all. Detection range for these aliens will actually be reduced, allowing them to sneak up on us if no other members of the team are in range to spot the approaching threat.
In conclusion, these goggles will increase our nighttime performance exponentially, making night engagements much more survivable for our troops. However, they are not and will never be a foolproof substitute for the Mk. 1 Eyeball.
We should use these items sparingly and tactically to avoid costly mistakes. It is recommended that no more than half the team wear goggles during an engagement in order to avoid surprises. Two-man fireteams -- one man equipped with goggles, one man with normal eyesight -- are recommended for maximum battlefield effectiveness.
Using goggles during daytime is generally contraindicated, as they lose most of their utility in daylight conditions. The only reason to continue wearing them under such conditions is their limited ability to see through walls.
Close-range combat troops will suffer least from the accuracy penalty inflicted by IR goggles. However, longer-range shooters cannot afford this penalty, as a missed shot with one of these weapons may have dire consequences. Snipers in particular will have infrared laser targeting available via their scopes anyway.