Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Laser Windscreen Wipers

Ludicrously over engineered solution....
  [vote for,

Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy the sound of squeaky rubber on glass, and the hypnotic, occasionally in-the- way nature of traditional windscreen wipers as much as the next man. However, could the problem be solved in a functionally superior but vastly over-complex manner? "Yes" is the answer to that. So, here we go.

Take a weather RADAR... specifically a Ka-band system for detecting small droplet phenomena. Mount it on your car in as inconspicuous a manner possible. Right, now you can track the rain drops that are in front of your car... some clever software trickery will take GPS data on the car's position and speed and will be able to identify rain drops which will intercept the car (rain drops which need to go, clearly.).

The second component of the system, will be a pair of CO2 lasers. I've chosen CO2 lasers because they're cheap for their power, and can be isotopically doped to modify their IR frequency down to about 1090 or so, this is useful, because that's where water absorbs. There's going to be some pretty fancy optics required to track and laser tens of thousands of raindrops. So I recommend the fitting of pretty fancy optics. Now, in some parts of the world, 300 litres of rain have fallen on 1 square metre in an hour, I appreciate that boiling off 300 litres, quickly, with lasers may require equipment which could negatively impact the fuel economy of a family hatchback, but this is where the clever bit comes in... Using the lasers as a pair, they will shoot the rain drop from two directions, the volume where the beams cross will be subject to heating at a much greater rate... now, I'm betting that you can create a small pocket of steam very rapidly in this manner.... blowing the raindrop to smithereens. With VERY fancy optics you could use this system to apply asymmetric force to the raindrop.... a blast on the left side would send the drop to the right, and so on.

The combination of fancy optics and clever software should be able to "steer" the raindrops around your car so that you're driving through a dry tunnel, like some form of automotive Moses. As a side benefit, you will effectively double the rainfall either side of you, making people without the system suffer accordingly.

bs0u0155, Mar 04 2013

Laser Umbrella Laser_20Umbrella
The personal version. [Wrongfellow, Mar 04 2013]

Smart Headlights Let Drivers See Through Rain and Snow http://blogs.scient...ough-rain-and-snow/
You could use a very similar controller unit to these. [Wrongfellow, Mar 04 2013]


       oooh, that umbrella idea is really very similar...
bs0u0155, Mar 04 2013

       Visions of a phalanx of Audi R8s, each equipped with Laser Windscreen Wipers, speeding down the Top Gear track in tight formation, vertical sheets of water channeled between them like rippling, trembling window panes.
Alterother, Mar 04 2013

       //There's going to be some pretty fancy optics required ... So I recommend the fitting of pretty fancy optics.//   

       How can one not bun such wisdom? [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 04 2013

       Incidentally, would a sufficiently powerful K-band radar not be sufficient in an of itself to zap the raindrops?
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 04 2013

       The problem with using powerful ka-band RADAR, is that if might interfere with the efforts of the good people who implement their daily efforts in the general direction of law enforcement. I dread to think what many kW of Ka-Band RADAR might do to a speed gun, the person holding it or nearby flora and fauna.
bs0u0155, Mar 04 2013

       playing fast-and-loose with industrial-strength invisible lasers however, is clearly OK.   

       Also, going for an all-RADAR system would eliminate lasers. Eliminating lasers is never good. Think before you suggest such things :-).
bs0u0155, Mar 04 2013

       //Think before you suggest such things// If I had a pound for every time I've been told that. Or even an acquittal.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 04 2013

       alternatively this system could be adapted for facilitating the disintegration of things headed toward expensive jet engines...
bs0u0155, Mar 04 2013

       All that engineering and not one paragraph break.
normzone, Mar 05 2013

       grr. fixed.
bs0u0155, Mar 05 2013


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