Cool Tech: Ultrasonic Lens Cleaning

Ultrasonic Lens Cleaning

Was exploring a few options for a project and happened to run across a fascinating lens-cleaning tech from Texas Instruments. If you work in the imaging industry you would know that ensuring clear, dust-free camera lenses is crucial, especially in outdoor environments. Ultrasonic Lens Cleaning (ULC) technology uses precisely controlled, high-frequency vibrations to clean glass surfaces. Imagine automatically detecting and clearing raindrops from a car’s rear camera lens without any driver intervention on a rainy day!

So, how does it work? All objects have a natural frequency, and when energy is applied at that frequency, resonance occurs, causing intense vibrations. It uses small piezo transducers which can vibrate at the natural frequency of glass, silicon, or polycarbonate lenses, and can effectively blast off water, dirt, and contaminants from the surface. The overall solution consists of a DSP processor with built algos for auto-detection of the mass change on the lens(Still unclear how they do that, maybe strain gauges or piezo touch sensing?) and a Piezo-driver circuit. Think of it like a cylindrical piezo disc around your lens with a lens cover on top. The piezo can expand and compress to create micro-vibrations. These vibrations can heat and clear snow from the lens cover too.

A cool piece of tech. But I would think that it would need customized lens solutions for each camera system. Might not be a plug and play sort of system. Do check them out in case you find it interesting. They have some cool video demos worth seeing. Ultrasonic lens cleaning is a shout-worthy tech innovation!

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