Actual Gen 1 goggles / scopes were Korean war era, pretty much took an IR illuminator to make them work, or of course a red light, neat toys, but can't see much actual use for one.
By the time I retired, Gen III was out, and they are phenominal, but even if you could get one, it would be expensive.
Having used FLIR for a couple of thousand hours flying I can tell you if your looking for a man overboard
, nothing beats FLIR, FLIR obviously works off of temperature differential and of course there is a minimum resolvable temperature, and twice a day on land you get IR crossover, where essentially most everything is about the same temp and you can't see squat, having flown a bunch of over water
flying in Korea
with FLIR, it doesn't work real well over water as of course water is about all the same temp, but something like a boat really sticks out, person in the water maybe moreso.
FLIR I flew with was cooled, I think most civilian systems aren't, but I bet they are pretty good by now. I do not have experience with civilian marine
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