Design and Development of the TerraStar Marginal-Terrain Amphibian 680535
Many off-the-road mobility development programs have had as the principal objective a substantial improvement in soft-soil performance. This paper describes the evolution of the TerraStar marginal-terrain amphibian, which represents an effort to achieve this improvement without sacrificing “readability.” The TerraStar concept is based on the use of a new locomotion device called a major/minor wheel. Essentially an “interrupted” wheel, this device works down in soft soils much like a spaced-link track, and also provides wheeled vehicle performance on roads and highways, or hard ground.
Aspects of the program related here include the use of scale-model tests in natural soils for preliminary design, the development of full-scale experimental vehicles, and the early results of field tests of the full-scale vehicles.