Nanotech monitoring, control technology promises safer vehicles

April 30, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Nanotech monitoring, control technology promises safer vehicles
Smart materials research and development company WINDGO (Columbia, MD) has announced that it has been granted a patent for technology designed to proactively and interactively mitigate impact forces on a motor vehicle.

The patent addresses systems in, on, and around the motor vehicle that can make vehicles safer and potentially prevent life-threatening situations. WINDGO's sensor coatings and layers, which are tunable in response to external stimuli, are used to monitor a vehicle's environment - visual, audio, motion, pressure, etc. - and anticipate forces and provide a controlled response.

Applications of this technology, says the company, include vehicle and window impact damping, vehicle window defrosting and defogging, temperature and humidity monitoring and control, and other vehicle-related vibration damping applications.

"This new technology will integrate the use of many existing vehicle sensors combined with our new material coatings and layers," says says the company's VP of R&D, David Strumpf. "The nanotechnology particles within these layers and coatings will add new functionality as sensors and communicating controlled-response nodes enhancing the functionality in the materials we use today."

"For example, one of the failure modes in a vehicle today is battery technology becoming too cold to operate efficiently or effectively. By adding intelligent coatings to a battery enclosure housing the newer lithium batteries can be vibrationally dampened as well as kept warm during peak freezing conditions. These hidden subsystem improvements will extend life to the vehicles and will ultimately add to interactive highway safety."

The technology, says the company, uses thousands of microminiature sensors to identify incoming disruptions to the vehicle, then communicate with computing devices that determine the magnitude of the sensory data and ultimately activate external stimuli in "the blink of an eye." The sensors may be embedded in vehicle bumpers, windows. or even in the vehicle paint.

The technology can also address noise cancellation and passenger comfort by reducing exterior noise and maintaining temperature control. This new technology, says the company, is in line with its emphasis on energy, resonance, and vibration technologies and products.


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