Automotive supplier Webasto and carbon nanotube developer Canatu have announced plans to collaboratively integrate a fixed film heater into Webasto’s Roof Sensor Module (RSM).

Through the module, OEMs can integrate ADAS sensors and sensor availability functions – such as cleaning, cooling, deicing and anti-fogging – into the roof of the vehicle. The partners have cited the positioning of the sensors on the roof as a way to achieve optimum detection capabilities. This all-round view, and elevated positioning, helps the LiDAR facilitate long-range 3D mapping of the vehicle’s surrounding environment. Incorporating Canatu’s deicing and anti-fogging system into the RSM helps the sensors maintain their performance in harsh weather conditions. These same Canatu film heaters can also be applied to the vehicle’s camera systems, ensuring they too are weatherproof.

The collaboration between the two companies began in June 2021. Over the course of the joint development project, they have jointly tested and verified different stack designs to optimize transmittance and heating performance.

The Canatu film heater itself is LiDAR transparent and wire-free, offering fast, equal, and power-efficient heating across the vehicle surface. During the serial production process, the film heater is fabricated onto a polycarbonate foil and integrated into the RSM cover using a film insert molding process.