Multi-function light sensor for vehicle

  • US 6,084,519 A
  • Filed: 05/13/1997
  • Issued: 07/04/2000
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/07/1993
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. An apparatus for detecting the presence of water droplets on a windshield of a vehicle, comprising:

  • a first sensor channel, comprising;

    a first light source for illuminating a first portion of the windshield with first light rays; and

    a first light sensor for detecting, and for producing a first output proportional to, at least a portion of the first light rays scattered by the water droplets on the windshield, wherein first light rays directly reflected by the windshield do not impinge upon the first light sensor;

    a second sensor channel, comprising;

    a second light source for illuminating a second portion of the windshield with second light rays; and

    a second light sensor for detecting, and for producing a second output proportional to, at least a portion of the second light rays directly reflected by the windshield and at least a portion of the second light rays scattered by the water droplets on the windshield; and

    a processor having inputs coupled to the first and second outputs, the processor producing a control signal indicative of whether the amount of water droplets on the windshield exceeds a predetermined threshold.

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