All-Season Virtual Test Site for a Real-Time Vehicle Simulator 2004-01-2644
A virtual, all-season test site for use in real-time vehicle simulators and mobility models was constructed of an Army firing range in Northern Vermont. The virtual terrain will mimic the terrain of our Virtual Data Acquisition and Test Site (VDATS) at Ethan Allen Firing Range (EAFR). The objective is to realistically simulate on- and off-road vehicle performance in all weather conditions for training and vehicle design for the US Army. To this end, several spatial datasets were needed to accurately map the terrain and estimate the state-of-the-ground and terrain strength at different times of the year. The terrain strength is characterized by terramechanics properties used in algorithms to calculate the forces at the vehicle-terrain interface. The performance of the real vehicles will be compared to the simulated vehicle performance of operator-in-the-loop and unmanned vehicles for validation of the simulations. Real vehicles are instrumented and perform maneuvers at the test site to develop and validate mathematic models describing vehicle behavior in all-season conditions, including snow, ice, frozen and thawing ground.