June 26, 2020

Vision Sensor Lens Cleaning: Undefeatable autonomous vehicles with this vital feature.

A little mud will render vision sensors for autonomous and remotely operated vehicles and weapons systems instantly ineffective without lens cleaning.
Not just mud but many other substances and conditions commonly occurring in military vehicles’ environments. Contaminants like dust, oil, frost, snow, and mud obscure the vision of lidar and cameras. With so many vision sensors and optic sights mounted on rooftops and positioned around the vehicle, they are difficult to access for cleaning. Compromised sensors are perhaps impossible to reach on a deployed, remotely operated platform. Cleaning becomes a real problem, and the essential function of vision is vulnerable to degradation. Clear visibility is vital, day and night. Reliance on vision, human and machine vision, is absolute for driving, automatic or operator-controlled weapons targeting, and sensing of friend or foe. Furthermore, these requirements drive the need for a cleaning system that can restore and maintain clear vision.

Lens Cleaning of Sensors

The proliferation of sensors, teleoperation, autonomous systems, and machine vision creates a greater reliance on the uptime of such systems. Support systems that can keep these critical functions operational have equal importance but have been secondary to the deployment of many vision sensors in the field. Do not omit this support system of cleaning.

Lens Cleaning
Vision sensors for autonomous work great with lens cleaning

ascencioné®, a military supplier in Reed City, Michigan, has been developing innovative products and systems for solving tough challenges like the sensor cleaning issue. Throughout ascencion鮑s 50-year history, the company has produced reliable military electronic and mechatronic hardware. The know-how behind these developments is the company’s unique design DNA: Sense, Compute, and Control. ascencion鮑s expertise in military and commercial rugged electronics, fluid power, fluid dynamics, and heated washer fluid systems led to developing a solution for the lens cleaning challenge. This unique, versatile approach combines the most effective means of cleaning, dispensing, and control into a functional system that solves the problem.

CVSS-HAV for Military Lens Cleaning

Clear Vision Safety System for Highly Automated Vehicles (CVSS-HAV-MIL) is a lens cleaning system for a vision sensor capable of clearing contaminated lenses rapidly. It’s a targeted pressure wash for the dirty lens. Regardless of position, the system’s on-demand pressurized fluid and air, dispensed at the precise sensor location, restore and maintain visibility to lidar and camera sensors anywhere. You can manually activate the cleaning function when the degraded operational capability for remotely operated weapons optics, such as the Common Remotely Operated Weapons Station (CROWS). Initiate the clean cycle on command for autonomous systems from the machine vision controller. Various integration options and fluids are possible, depending upon requirements. However, size, weight, and power (SWaP) are minimal. The system has an extensible architecture for integrating all vehicles and contemporary applications such as autonomous leader-follower systems, robotic squad-support platforms, and optics from various suppliers.

Lens cleaning will give you a huge advantage!

Leader-follower convoys put follower vehicles in direct line with dust and debris from lead vehicles, so sensors need cleaning to remain operational. Optics on ground vehicles used for route clearance experience harsh conditions and require regular cleaning. Even small robotic platforms like PackBot or TALON can benefit from variants of CVSS-HAV-MIL, which are self-contained, requiring no power or support from the vehicle. These and many other applications highlight the need for sensor lens cleaning and establish the importance of the solution, CVSS-HAV-MIL.