An Improved Design of a Vehicle Based Off-Road Terrain Profile Measurement System 2008-01-2655
This paper discusses an improved design of a vehicle-based mobile off-road terrain profile measurement system. The proposed system includes an apparatus of sensors and on-board data acquisition hardware, equipped on a platform vehicle used to measure and record the relevant data while the vehicle travels through the off-road or terrain surface to be surveyed. A unique post-processing algorithm is then used to derive the elevation profile based on the collected data. The derived elevation profile data could be used to characterize the roughness of an off-road testing course or perform a general geographical survey or mapping. The major technical issue addressed in this system is to eliminate the effect of platform vehicle vibration on sensor measurement which if left unaddressed will result in large measurement error due to high amplitude pitch and roll movements of the platform vehicle. A Kalman Filter based sensor-fusion methodology is implemented in the system to accurately solve for the vehicle dynamic position in order to compensate for vehicle induced measurement errors, and in turn could provide a high-fidelity reconstructed profile data result. A prototype system instrumented on a GM Hummer H2 vehicle has been implemented based on the proposed design. The field validation test results are also reported in the paper.