On The Causes of Image Blurring in External Rear View Mirrors 2004-01-1309
Effective rear view vision from external mirrors is compromised at high speed due to rotational vibration of the mirror glass. Possible causes of the mirror vibration are reviewed, including road inputs from the vehicle body and a variety of aerodynamic inputs. The latter included vibrations of the entire vehicle body, vibrations of the mirror “shell”, the turbulent flow field due to the A-pillar vortex (and to a lesser extent the approach flow) and base pressure fluctuations. Experiments are described that attempt to understand the relative influence of the causes of vibration, including road and tunnel tests with mirrors instrumented with micro accelerometers. At low frequencies, road inputs predominate, but some occur at such low frequencies that the human eye can track the moving image. At frequencies above about 20Hz the results indicate that at high speeds aerodynamics play a dominant role. When the vehicle is yawed, significantly greater aerodynamic inputs arise from the leeside vortex than from the vortex on the upwind side. However since the mounting of the mirror glass is part of a complex dynamic system the results are configuration specific.