Vibration Characteristics and Control Algorithm for Semi-Active Suspension of Space Exploration Vehicles 2023-01-1064
Suspension systems are an integral part of land vehicles and contribute significantly to the vehicle performance in terms of its ride comfort and road holding characteristics. In the case of Space Exploration Vehicles (SEV’s), the requirement of these unmanned vehicles is to rove, collect pictures and transmit data back to the earth. This is generally performed with the help of exteroceptive, and proprioceptive sensors mounted on the main chassis of the SEV. The design of various components of such vehicles is dictated by the assumption of extreme terrain and environmental conditions that it might face. The Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) have incorporated the use of the ‘Rocker-Bogie’ mechanism for the suspension system which provides relative stability to the MER for various maneuvers. In this work, the ‘Rocker-Bogie’ mechanism is modeled and simulated using the Simulink workspace. It is found that the Rocker-Bogie tends to nullify the effects of uneven terrain by maintaining the center of gravity at a relatively fixed location with respect to the ground reference frame. Further, an attempt is made to replace the mechanism with a semi-active suspension module at each wheel to study the effects that the semi-active suspension would have on the chassis dynamics of the MER. Lastly, this work will attempt to consider the rocker-bogie chassis dynamics as the ideal condition and try to develop classical and modern control algorithms that can control the individual semi-active suspension systems. Future work might include modification of the control mechanisms developed and experimental validation on a quarter car suspension rig.