Thales Wiper Blade Challenge

Thales is seeking innovative solutions to keep camera system windows clean and clear for military land platforms, ensuring cameras have a clear view of the scene in all weathers and environments. Ideally, solutions will have no mechanical wipers or will complement or improve on existing wiper-based systems.

Background

Thales designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets.

Armoured platforms operate in harsh environments and equipment needs to be resilient to debris and other obscurants that could impact system performance. Thales is seeking solutions that can be applied to vehicle sighting systems. Mechanical wipers are typically used to ensure that windows remain clear at all times. However, mechanical solutions have moving parts and their performance may be impacted by the harsh environments.

Routes to Consider

Thales is interested in solutions that would, ideally, be retrofitted to land vehicles already in the field. It’s looking for solutions that are reliable and robust in harsh environments and don’t impair the optical transmission through the camera sighting window.

Specifically, solutions should allow optical transmission across the visible and infrared spectrum. Solutions should efficiently remove obstructions from camera windows (either made from glass or germanium), require little maintenance, replace or reduce the use of mechanical wipers, have a low sound signature and operate in a range of environments.

Impact

The solution must result in minimum impact in the size, weight and power consumption. There are several camera sights on each vehicle and the solution must be able to be applied to all of these with minimal cost impact. Removing, or minimising the need for mechanical wipers, will result in a considerable saving.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Technical Viability – proposed solutions must we compatible with the sighting system requirements
  • Costs – solutions should not cost more than the current wiper solutions unless they provided a significant competitive advantage against other solutions
  • Durability – proposed solutions must be able to withstand harsh environments

Solutions will not be considered if, in Thales’s opinion:

  • Durability is less than the current annual replacement of wiper blades or requires to be maintained more frequently
  • Optical transmission performance is degraded
  • Solutions don’t adhere to safety requirements, eg maintenance hazards
  • Solutions are not resistant to vehicle contaminants

How to get involved

Email to get more details and register your interest