45°/0° Optics Simulate Human Visual Perception for Driver Safety

A driver often relies on the markings of the road to provide guidance when traveling from one point to another. Lines on roads and highways need to be highly visible for vehicles to stay within the parameters of a lane, preventing collisions and maintaining safety for both drivers and pedestrians. As a safety regulation, line colors are standardized (ASTM standards) by a government agency to ensure roadway lanes are easily discerned both day and night. This requires routine evaluations with instruments that can precisely measure color the same way the human eye perceives color.

Roadway markings, such as lane dividers, are typically yellow or white colored paint or a melted thermoplastic material composed of pigments and glass beads. Over time, the colors of these markings fade due to changing weather conditions and the constant friction of vehicle tires. Taking routine measurements with a 45/0 spectrophotometer ensures colors are always visible to drivers and, if not, the instrument will inform authorities that a new coating of color is needed. Traditional spectrophotometers with 45/0 geometry, however, can be inaccurate in measurements.

A spectrophotometer with 45/0 geometry is required for measuring roadway markings, as well as other applications such as automotive interiors, appliances, furniture, packaging, and some food products. This is because it factors in the texture and appearance of surfaces, closely paralleling the way the human eye sees color. Traditional spectrophotometers with this geometry are designed with a circumferential illumination that typically does not illuminate all areas of a surface or sample evenly. This non-uniform distribution of light cannot capture the entirety of a sample s color when taking measurements, leading to inaccurate results and potentially unsafe conditions for drivers and pedestrians.

A Breakthrough in 45/0 Optics Ensures High Visibility of Road Markings

In response to the inaccuracies of traditional 45/0 spectrophotometers, Konica Minolta Sensing designed the CM-25cG spectrophotometer. This instrument is built with perfect annular illumination instead of circumferential illumination, brightly illuminating sample surfaces evenly throughout when taking a measurement. Perfect annular illumination is like a ring of fiber bundles illuminated by a single source and terminated in a ring. The illumination slit and integrating sphere create a ring-shaped light source to ensure color is viewed more uniformly.

The ring shaped illumination of the CM-25cG makes it ideal for evaluating the color of road markings, and gives users a better understanding of how drivers will perceive these markings. This optical design delivers more accurate readings by distributing light equally throughout a sample to capture the entirety of its color and minimizing fluctuations in measurement readings when the angle or position of the instrument changes. For the transportation industry, this means the color of roadway paint or thermoplastic materials can be identified and compared to government standards reliably and accurately.

The stability, precision, and accuracy associated with perfect annular illumination in 45/0 spectrophotometers places the CM-25cG at the forefront of the industry. This breakthrough in color measurement optics not only more closely mimics human visual perception, but more accurately identifies color on textured, curved, or rough surfaces compared to traditional 45/0 spectrophotometers. As a result, road markings maintain high visibility and vehicle collisions are prevented for drivers traveling from one point to another.

Interested in learning more about the CM-25cG Spectrophotometer? Click here.

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