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Songwei Lu


Effect of Rain and Fog on Self-Cleaning Sensor Coatings for Autonomous Vehicles


Using a stationary testbed, we have evaluated effect of light rain, heavy rain, and fog on the sensor surfaces with or without a UV durable hydrophobic (UVH) coating. Four types of sensors were evaluated, including vision camera, IR camera, LiDAR, and Radar for autonomous vehicle. Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) 50 loss (MTF50 loss) and signal to noise ratio (SNR) were used as two key metrics to understand the self-cleaning performance of the UVH coatings vs uncoated sensor surfaces. The evaluation results of the UVH coatings as-prepared, and 500 hours to 3000 hours after Weather-O-Meter (WOM) testing using ASTM D7869 method will be presented. Current results point to a significant benefit of using UVH coatings to improve the signal reading of sensors under the inclement weather.


Dr. Songwei Lu is a Research Associate I in the Decorative Formulation and Growth Initiatives group at Coatings Innovation Center at PPG Industries, Inc. Dr. Lu has a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Institute for New Materials, Saarland University, Saarbrucken, Germany. After post-doctoral researches at both Clemson University from 1998 to 1999, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2000, Dr. Lu worked briefly at Donnelly Corporation in Holland, Michigan in 2001. Dr. Lu has since worked in PPG for more than 20 years, specialized in transparent functional coatings on glass and plastics, sol-gel coatings, and chemical vapor deposition. Recently, Dr. Lu has focused on development and evaluations of coatings and materials for mobility applications. Dr. Lu has published 30 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and holds 21 US granted patents. Dr. Lu also presented his research at multiply international conferences, including an invited talk at ACS Boston in 2018.