Functional Coatings for Vehicle Autonomy – Phase III

NCMS Project #: 141036

Problem: Autonomous vehicles are being regularly tested on U.S. highways now and are predicted to grow at a fast pace.  As with driver-operated vehicles, coatings that prevent sensor blockage and corrosion are an important requirement that is critical for safe operation of autonomous vehicles.  These vehicles depend on sensors to act as eyes to direct their activity.  Functional surface coatings are a key component that help keep sensors operational, enabling safe autonomous vehicle operation.

Benefit: Sensors and optics are critical for everything from back-up cameras and side lane departure warning systems on cars, buses, RV’s, and delivery vans, to space craft sun sensors, Instrument Landing System (ILS) on airplanes, and large ship docking assistance.  A coating that makes sensors and optics easy to clean and more durable are invaluable.  Technologies explored in Phase III of this project will demonstrate a broad applicability across a myriad of commercial and industrial applications.

Solution/Approach: Phase III will take the best coating candidates identified through Phase I and II lab and pilot scale work and demonstrate them on a variety of systems to prove interoperability across multiple military and civilian platform applications.

Impact on Warfighter:

  • Increase safety
  • Reduce maintenance time and costs
  • Improve warfighter readiness and lethality

DOD Participation:

  • U.S. Army Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC)

Industry Participation:

  • PPG Industries, Inc.
  • North Dakota State University
  • NCMS

Benefit Area(s):

  • Cost savings
  • Safety
  • Reliability improvement

Focus Area:

  • Reliability improvement