Towards Clearer Vision on the Road
by Rod Steel / Alan Symes
Photography: Sira Ltd.

Windshield clarity is a vital component ofvehicle safety and this test rig devised by the British electro-optic specialists, Sira, will enable standards organisations to measure accurately the loss ofvisual ability caused by scratches in the glass.

The optical test rig has been designed and built by the company for the British Standards Institution to use for measuring objectively the clarity ofcar windshields. The equipment will be used for testing road vehicle safety glass according to the requirements of the international standard, ISO 3538.

It measures how much light is transmitted by complete windshields, as well as individual glass samples, and determines obj ectively the amount of'haze' (light-scattering scratches) on the surface so that scientists can determine when windshields become too scratched to be used safely.

The BSI already has machines capable of demonstrating the resistance ofwindshield glass to scratching. What Sira' s test rig enables the standards body to do is quantify the degree of haze or scratching in terms of useful light lost and it will provide an objective measure of how hazy the driver' s view will be with that amount of scratching on the windshield.

Sira Electro-optics Division designs and manufactures specialist equipment for aerospace, military and industrial applications as well as canying out contract research, especially for space agencies, for industrial and government establishments throughout the world.

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