I am building an international network of astronomical all-sky cameras. The cameras will be protected from the elements with a clear plastic dome.
(To clarify, I will have a camera on a rooftop pointing upward, with a clear plastic dome protecting the camera)
Because the cameras are remote (and installed on rooftops), I need a way of keeping them clean for as long as possible.
- Bird droppings
- Sea spray
- Grime, etc.
I have seen some hydrophilic coatings (designed for CCTV camera domes, which are installed upside down). But I'm not sure if this idea is going to be feasible, given that my camera is facing upward and facing directly into the rain. I'm also concerned that the coating may not be enough to repel bird droppings.
I'm also concerned that such coatings may affect the image quality. Obviously, in low-light conditions, I need to maximise the amount of light getting through the dome and into the camera. Is this concern justified or am I overthinking things?
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep this dome clean for as long as possible with as little human intervention as possible?