Development of a Virtual Terramechanics Rig (VTR) for Experimental Validation 2006-01-3481
The study of tire-terrain interaction is integral to understanding the traction characteristics of a tire operating on soft soil under various conditions. As such, there exists a need to recreate the operating conditions for the tire under controlled laboratory environments to analyze factors that will affect operating behavior.
A terramechanics rig is an experimental setup that will enable researchers to apply known loading conditions to a tire under known terrain conditions, hence enabling the researcher to gather data such as forces, moments and states of the tire in the presence of terrain data such as soil type, density and moisture content. Such an experimental facility is currently under design and construction in the Advanced Vehicle Dynamic Laboratory at Virginia Tech. In this study, a multibody mechanics model of the rig is presented. This model is intended to enable researchers to run preliminary virtual tests that will aid in setting the experimental parameters for the laboratory rig. The virtual test rig will also be used to develop new computationally efficient dynamic tire models able to handle various transient events, and to evaluate new tire designs. The direct connection in terms of its functionality, actuation, limitations, etc., between the virtual and the real terramechanics test rig facilitates a better understanding of the soil mechanics and tire dynamics, while supporting the development of innovative contact models for the tire-terrain interface.