Auto Dimming for ‘Smart Windows’

 - March 31, 2010, 6:20 AM

The so-called “smart cabin automated dimming system” (Scads) marks the latest stage in evolution of the electrically dimmable E-Shade smart window from InspecTech of Fort Lauderdale.

The smart window allows the passenger or crew to “dim” a window from clear to 99.6 percent opaque with a push of a button. To change the opacity of the window, the system passes a low electrical charge through a gel sandwich between layers of clear glass or Plexiglas. The controls also allow for settings between clear and opaque.

With Scads, the cabin network architecture allows any passenger to control any E-Shade window, allowing automatic or manually selected settings.

The automated continuous mode maintains a specified fixed level of light entering the cabin at any given attitude or heading. The E-Shade adjusts continuously and automatically to the amount of light striking it in real time, so the passenger barely notices the changes.

With the cabin temperature control mode, the program continuously monitors cabin temperature and activates a dimming control command when necessary. If the aircraft is sitting idle on the ramp and the specified interior temperature is reached, all the E-Shades automatically go to full dark.

When set for customer requirements, a logic circuit is incorporated to sense when
the landing gear is lowered, shifting to the clear state. If electrical power is lost, all emergency-exit E-Shades instantly default to clear.

There is also an in-flight movie feature that dims all E-Shades to a 15-percent light transmission level with the push of a button by the aircraft crew.