Real-time, Distributed, Unmanned Ground Vehicle Dynamics and Mobility Simulation 2002-01-1178
A Vehicle Dynamics and Mobility Server (VDMS) is being developed by the U.S. Army to perform real-time high-fidelity simulation of robotic vehicle concepts. It allows a set of conceptual Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to be selected and configured for the purposes of evaluating their mobility performance in a simulated battlefield scenario. VDMS includes real-time ground vehicle models operating over high-resolution digital terrain. The models consist of three-dimensional multi-body vehicle dynamics, off-road vehicle-soil interaction, collision detection and obstacle negotiation code, and autonomous control algorithms. A minimally completed VDMS was used in an RDEC Federation Calibration Experiment (CalEx) in October 2001 to predict the mobility of ten robotic scout vehicles. This paper presents the rationale, requirements, design, and implementation of VDMS. It also briefly discusses other possible applications of VDMS and the future direction of VDMS. It should be noted that, although VDMS is operational, robust and functional, the ideas and design presented in this paper represent completed, ongoing, and future work on VDMS.