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#1 2023-12-02 17:03:28

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 8,674

A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

it is a cleaning apparatus design allowing a human to see through the window of their vehicle, on Earth some cars use a single pantograph wiper. Some people have Wipers for a Motorcycle Helmet on Earth, sometimes a vehicle with a rear view window will have a Rear wiper(s) for dirty off road and dirt road at night in less populated areas a Truck might also have Headlight wipers. In times of recession if you drive a vehicle in a city you might see people appear with Squeegee, a flat rubber blade and with a sponge or soapy solution while traffic is gridlocked asking for money. Near the Poles of Mars CO2 might freeze on your window. On Earth some US states have a legal rule a "wipers on, lights on" rule of Law for cars in a certain parish or community. https://web.archive.org/web/20170905054 … /1994/NEWS

If your vehicle is very large you might have wipers that are seen on a 'Ship' or other vehciles on Earth placed on the top hanging down like 'Marine Window Wipers'. Mars has big changes between day and night and Summer and Winter, the wipers might come with an electric heat system or fan like you have in cars.  On Earth windows can be heated by electrical strips and there are rear window heaters in vehicles, broken wires on heater elements can be repaired by a simple conductive paint. Condensation in a vehicle is the process of water vapors sticking to a window and becoming liquid because of a change in temperature, if a colonist moves from a garden or mine for waters into a vehicle it is possible the air in the truck or car is then too saturated with water, during a dust storm there might be no solution to let the sunshine in, other heating will be needed as we do on cold places on Earth during winter. Mold could become an issue like it is on the ISS methods would be deployed so mold does not stand a chance, Mars is a desert planet and water droplets will be of value for recycling, maybe fan air conditioner systems. 

To start this thread off I will quote GW Johnson

GW Johnson wrote:

The 3 ways known here to remove dust are (1) using compressed gas to blow it away,  (2) brush it away,  and (3) use water to wash it off,  then dry the surface before more dust makes mud. 

Tactic 3 doesn't seem suited at all on Mars,  where even if we did have water to "waste" that way,  it would freeze before we could clean the surface,  much less dry it.

The other two both risk scratching the surface. 

I'm unsure how much compression pressure might be needed to do reliable dust removal in that thin atmosphere with a compressed gas stream.  But for compression to Earthly-range pressures,  your "compressor" starts looking more like a hard vacuum pump than a compressor as we know them here.  Just something to think about.

The brush idea could be a simple as a windshield wiper design that substitutes long,  thin brushes for the rubber wiper blades.  Less contact pressure is needed,  so the springs can be a lot weaker and therefore lighter.

I'm actually somewhat disappointed that last idea hasn't been tried yet.

Also called windscreen wiper in British English

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2023-12-05 07:11:33)

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#2 2023-12-02 17:37:10

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,420

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

For Mars_B4_Moon re new topic ....

Whoever designs, develops and manufactures a "windshield wiper" for Mars dust would deserve a market here on Earth, for locations where dust storms are a concern. 

I'm hoping the creative thinkers who are members of this forum will offer ideas to meet this challenge.

The store of ideas in the US Patent system is massive, at this point ... there might even be something already patented, if someone has the skill to manage the Patent search process and find it.

The challenge for ** all ** ideas that may be published in thit topic is to find a way to avoid scratching the optically transparent material used for the windshield. On Mars, those systems will be carrying pressure if they have passengers.

(th)

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#3 2023-12-02 18:04:47

SpaceNut
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Posts: 28,598

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

Rather than liquid cleaning it might be possible for the wiper arm with a blade would contain mars air jets to be able to blow the dust awy as the wiper scrapes with a brush to continue to move the soil from the windshield.

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#4 2023-12-02 18:37:49

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,420

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

For SpaceNut re # 3

The jet of air seems like an effective cleaning tool, assuming the air is filtered well so that it is itself free of dust.

I asked ChatGPT(4) about this challenge, and we considered electrostatic force as a possible mechanism.  The charge would need to be reversible since the kind and level of charge dust particles will vary.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uVN … sp=sharing

In the category of "unobtainium" there may exist a transparent material that does not accept formation of bonds by stray objects.

I have no idea if such a material exists, or even ** could ** exist.

Follow up ... I asked about materials that resist bonding by stray objects and learned that there are a variety of ways that human engineers have found to repel objects from adhering to a surface. In addition, I was reminded that Nature has found nanoscale structures are able to repel materials such as water, with tiny ridges on the surface that prevent water molecules from finding an  attachment point.

(the)

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#5 2023-12-02 19:25:02

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,598

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

There are anti-static coatings, and you can even ionize the air to force the adhesive nature of a static charge to become neutral.
It's how sensitive electronic components are protected while out in the open and not connected to a circuit board. It also is used while a circuit board is not in a faraday anti-static bag.

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#6 2023-12-02 20:17:36

tahanson43206
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Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

For SpaceNut .... Calliban has often included liquid CO2 in his posts ...

CO2 has to be kept under pressure and within a certain temperature range to stay liquid, but perhaps it can flush a windshield of dust the way water would on Earth.

(th)

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#7 2023-12-03 06:56:57

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 8,674

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

I did find something from 2012 involving multiple countries and a University in Spain, it starts out as NASA linked but then other groups are involved, Europe and ESA have trouble landing anything on Mars although ESA does not seem directly involved, there was an engineer interviewed Luis Enrique Moreno. They even had a plan to use the tech developed to help astronauts during excursions.

It looks like one was developed or being developed in Spain at a public university in the Community of Madrid for a NASA mission and then maybe it was going to try to fly a Finland-Russia-Spain mission they were going to launch a Beagle type mission with Atmospheric instruments 'semi-hard landing' and ground perpetrator. It is or was a Science mission backed up by University and Companies but it never flew. Parts of the design might be out in the open to freely access as some part of common heritage and free culture but a lot of  Universities control IP and Patent their Research so maybe not or maybe it is open? However Astrium España was also there and they are a multi-billion Dollar French company, they don't do stuff for free even if it seems free and I would expect them to have a copyright or Patent claim on something. It had Teflon fibers and some type of shape memory alloy or SMA shape memory material.
It seems to have first linked to NASA but then involved Finland, Spain and Russia and now with sanctions after the Ukraine invasion this mission will never fly. The windshield wiper was then to be used on the METNET lander mission however not a moving car.

A windshield wiper for Mars dust is developed

https://ekaprdweb01.eurekalert.org/pub_ … 092412.php

All photos in the Mars MetNet Mission gallery are copyrighted to the owners and the source of the photo (photographer and/or copyright holder) shall be indicated when photo is used. Questions and further information may be enquired from the webmaster of the Mars MetNet Mission internet pages.

For access to the photos below, please click the thumbnail picture.
http://fmispace.fmi.fi/old-metnet/index.php?id=126

2018 MetNet Mission for Mars – Current Status and Future Prospects
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio … _Prospects

'Dust Wiper operating at -150oC during qualification campaign showed successful performance in the removal of frost, increasing the range of applications of the technology.'
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Dus … _228879557

Someone did almost build a 'windshield wiper' for a Car on Mars
and for whatever reason it never got to fly

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2023-12-03 06:59:09)

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#8 2023-12-03 07:07:35

tahanson43206
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Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

For Mars_B4_Moon re #7

Nice Work!   Thanks for all the links with comments!

If someone has time, please post a picture of the wipers (if one is available) .... be sure to show the copyright holder, per the request)

Here is a quote from The ResearchGate link ... the pictures do not seem to show the wiper, but perhaps it is there and I just didn't recognize it.

... In the study [112] fabrication of a robotic wiper that employs a brush of very premium quality to clean the dust particles accumulated on the surface of a solar photovoltaic module and the result shows that the output performance enhanced to 93%. In the study [113] a cleaning technique is proposed that is based on peripheral interphase controller (PIC) and programmable logic controller (PLC) which shows a good performance in removing the bird droppings and dust particles accumulated on the surface of the solar photovoltaic module. The combination of PIC and PLC technology shows a very positive result in enhancing the efficiency of the module for PLC-based systems. ...
... Its limitation is that it cannot work efficiently to prevent the cementation and fine particles of dust. It causes a 15% reduction in efficiency to produce an electric field that requires a large amount of electricity [113]. ...

(th)

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#9 2023-12-03 10:40:43

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,282

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

I would suggest spraying a mixture of 80% weight methanol and water onto the screen and then using a standard wiper blade.  A solution of this strength doesn't freeze until -110°C.
https://www.methanol.org/wp-content/upl … utions.pdf

At Martian temperatures it should remain liquid with almost negligible vapour pressure.  So you can keep it in a non-pressurised steel container and use a standard wind screen wiper pump that you have on an ordinary car.  The liquid won't boil at Mars ambient but will evaporate quickly.  But it should stay liquid long enough to wash the dust off the screen.  I wouldn't suggest wiping without liquid, as the fines are powdered basalt and will be abrasive to the screen. 

If you were content to clean the window during stops, you could use a cotton rag soaked in methanol that you squeeze out of a plastic bottle.  This is the easiest solution from a development point of view.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-12-03 10:45:48)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#10 2023-12-03 11:14:17

Mars_B4_Moon
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Posts: 8,674

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

There was been many discussion of making Methanol fuel in the Alcohol and Farming threads as an alternative Biofuel, at standard Earth pressure the boiling point of methanol is 148°F (64.7°C).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_b … f_solvents

tahanson43206 wrote:

For Mars_B4_Moon re #7



Here is a quote from The ResearchGate link ... the pictures do not seem to show the wiper, but perhaps it is there and I just didn't recognize it.

Tahanson I believe there is a photo of the wiper in action on a flat surface if you click on the Black and White image,  it seems to have cleaned six coin shapes or something shaped like a small Lithium Button Cell Battery. I believe the button is maybe a glass shape that covers UV censors.
Another research name outside of Madrid, Diego Fernandez pops up linked to University of Havana 'Cuba' and a name 'R Cabas' who does not have a profile


I will try link directly

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/UV- … _228879557

Edit

I found a robotics paper from the ESA site, 'R Cabas' seems to be Ramiro Cabás

he links to a company called 'ARQUIMEA'

https://es.linkedin.com/company/arquimea-group

paper
https://web.archive.org/web/20170809101 … 3.2.02.pdf

In order to quantify the dust and powder removal from the surface it is defined a factor called the cleaning efficiency
(CE) (1), which gives the percentage of the powder that has been removed after one dust wiper operation.
CE= If/Ii X 100

where:
I f is the signal received by the optical sensor after one dust wiper operation
I i is the signal received by the optical sensor when there is no dust deposited on its surface (perfectly clean)

Other papers suggest the 'dust wiper' was modified for other missions so they might have created a number of designs

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2023-12-03 11:34:33)

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#11 2023-12-03 11:36:37

tahanson43206
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Posts: 16,420

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

For Mars_B4_Moon re link to black and white image in Post #10

Thanks for that link!  It was easy to see the wiper in the larger view!  The   cleared space over the sensors is easy to see in contrast to the white powder all over the rest of the machine.

The brush is probably the very high quality that GW Johnson was describing in one of his posts.

Even so, i think that the use of CO2 gas as a blowing agent is a good idea.  This suggestion is a spinoff from SpaceNut's suggestion of blowing the atmosphere of Mars against the windshield with a fan.   CO2 gas from a container would be clean, so it would not directly drive grains of regolith against the surface of the windshield. 

Perhaps a blend of the two ideas makes sense... the high quality brush might clear the windshield, and the CO2 gas blower could clean the brush before it heads out over the glass again.

(th)

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#12 2023-12-03 12:10:30

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Posts: 28,598

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

No need for a liquid heavy container for co2 as the amount to blast a liquid to wipers on earth is quite small for what we use and on earth as it would be in a 1 gallon or less for mass for the vehicle that we would put it on. We just need a filter for dust on the inlet and a compressor to bring co2 into a much less massive tank.

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#13 2023-12-04 10:15:22

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,378
Website

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

Methanol hurts plexiglass.  Des not hurt silicate glass.  Something to think about.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#14 2023-12-05 07:12:52

Mars_B4_Moon
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Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 8,674

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

Within a vehicle there might be little heating strips for condensation during temperature changes and some kind of air conditioner system to circulate air and recycle any water droplet condensation within a vehicle, I do not know if a vehicle would also have a rear view window maybe it would depend on its size or maybe it would have a camera and radar at the rear, with rear view windows you would need a rear view wiper.

Aircraft are using a Chemical Repellent but mostly for water not dust

Windshield wiper systems - Complete windshield wiper and washer systems for aircraft
https://www.safran-group.com/products-s … s-aircraft

Different Types of Aircraft Rain Protection Systems
https://www.integratedjetparts.com/blog … n-systems/

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2023-12-05 07:15:46)

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#15 2023-12-05 07:50:19

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,420

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

On Earth, sandstorms are an occasional problem.  Most vehicle windshield wiper systems are designed for rain, as Mars_B4_Moon Post #14 reminds us.

I asked Google about sand storms on Earth, and there is a fair amount of commentary ... this item shows the outer range of what is possible:

How long did the longest sandstorm last?
The soil had turned to dust during the drought and whenever the winds would howl, the loose dust would be lifted into the air resulting in dust storms. In April 1935, Dodge City recorded 14 days of dense dust (visibility 1000 feet or less) and 12 days of light dust (visibility above 1000 feet up to 6 miles).
88th Anniversary of April 1935 Dust Storm (Black Sunday)
www.weather.gov › ddc › BlackSunday1935

It seems unlikely (to me at least) that anyone on Earth has designed a wind shield cleaning system for dust.  My guess is that anyone caught in a dust storm is likely to use ordinary rain wipers to try to clear the view, and that procedure is likely to damage both the glass and the wiper.

The Mars situation is different from Earth ...

Google came up with this:

Dust storms on Mars cover large areas and can last more than a month. The low density of the Martian atmosphere precludes the spectacular effects described in the book and film 'The Martian'.
Nov 29, 2022
Dust storms - Marspedia
marspedia.org › Dust_storms
About Featured Snippets

SpaceNut's idea of just blowing the atmosphere across the wind shield with a fan might provide sufficient visibility to avoid obstacles such as stopped vehicles on a road, at the risk of damage to the surface of the wind shield.  I think it was GW Johnson who suggested the millions of years of sand movement might have rounded the grains so they are less damaging to the wind shield surface than might be the case elsewhere.

SpaceNut's idea would require a mechanical system of some kind to move the atmosphere, so that system would need to be sealed against penetration by the dust. Whatever system NASA is using for the Ingenuity helicopter appears to be working well.  On the ** other ** hand, I doubt that NASA is flying Ingenuity during dust storms, so we (probably) don't have any useful information from that source.

(th)

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#16 2023-12-31 12:21:13

SpaceNut
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Posts: 28,598

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

The use of CO2 / Dry Ice Cleaning is not a new approach or use as it's been around nearly 100 years. It is an attempt to give the green a place to use what is claimed to be a global warming agent to be captured and reused.

The liquid is forced out an orifice much like those used on a car but instead it's in a wiper blade arm that has a brush to lift it off from the windshield. Much like any fluid the line coming in is tapered until it reaches the end where it's at the tiny line size of maybe just 1/8 in for a pipe diameter with each increase of the jets back to the main line feeding the arm. A pump forces or use of injectors on demand the co2 liquid out to the arm in a measured way to conserve the storage of this commodity for use.

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#17 2024-02-12 18:05:14

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
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Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

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#18 2024-02-13 13:01:38

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 5,378
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Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

Why?  Because it has not been done before.  Not by NASA or anybody else.  (Except GM,  Ford,  Chrysler,  Toyota,  Honda,  and a host of others.)

That's what you get with people who only know how to run software,  instead of knowing how to figure things for themselves "from scratch". 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#19 2024-02-13 13:39:36

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,420

Re: A windshield wiper for a Truck/Train on Mars

For GW Johnson re #18

I asked Google when wind shield wipers were invented.  For some reason, no one had imagined a way of cleaning wind shields until a wiper was imagined by a female visitor to New York.

With all due respect to Ford, GM and everybody else who was making cars in the early days, cleaning the windshield was pretty far down the list of priorities .... I think the same is (was) true for the first generation of robots to travel to Mars.

Windshield Wiper Invented In 1902 By A Woman Who Didn ...
NPR
https://www.npr.org › 2017/07/25 › alabama-woman-stu...
Jul 25, 2017 — Entrepreneur Mary Anderson thought it made no sense that New York streetcar drivers had to keep jumping off to clean snow from the ...

(th)

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