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Technical Paper

Compaction-Based Deformable Terrain Model as an Interface for Real-Time Vehicle Dynamics Simulations

This paper discusses the development of a novel deformable terrain database and its use in a co-simulation environment with a multibody dynamics vehicle model. The implementation of the model includes a general tire-terrain traction model which is modular to allow for any type of tire model that supports the Standard Tire Interface[1] to operate on the terrain. This allows arbitrarily complex tire geometry to be used, which typically has a large impact on the mobility performance of vehicles operating on deformable terrains. However, this gain in generality comes at the cost that popular analytical pressure-sinkage terramechanics models cannot be used to find the normal pressure and shear stress of the contact patch. Pressure and shear stress are approximated by combining the contributions from tire normal forces, shear stresses and bulldozing forces due to soil rutting.
Journal Article

Investigating Through Simulation the Mobility of Light Tracked Vehicles Operating on Discrete Granular Terrain

This paper presents a computational framework for the physics-based simulation of light vehicles operating on discrete terrain. The focus is on characterizing through simulation the mobility of vehicles that weigh 1000 pounds or less, such as a reconnaissance robot. The terrain is considered to be deformable and is represented as a collection of bodies of spherical shape. The modeling stage relies on a novel formulation of the frictional contact problem that requires at each time step of the numerical simulation the solution of an optimization problem. The proposed computational framework, when run on ubiquitous Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) cards, allows the simulation of systems in which the terrain is represented by more than 0.5 million bodies leading to problems with more than one million degrees of freedom.
Journal Article

A Physics-Based Vehicle/Terrain Interaction Model for Soft Soil Off-Road Vehicle Simulations

In the context of off-road vehicle simulations, deformable terrain models mostly fall into three categories: simple visualization of the deformed terrain only, use of empirical relationships for the deformation, or finite/discrete element approaches for the terrain. A real-time vehicle dynamics simulation with a physics-based tire model (brush, ring or beam-based models) requires a terrain model that accurately reflects the deformation and response of the soil to all possible inputs of the tire in order to correctly simulate the response of the vehicle. The real-time requirement makes complex finite/discrete element approaches unfeasible, and the use of a ring or beam -based tire model excludes purely empirical terrain models. We present the development of a three-dimensional vehicle/terrain interaction model which is comprised of a tire and deformable terrain model to be used with a real-time vehicle dynamics simulator.
Journal Article

Reliability Prediction for the HMMWV Suspension System

This research paper addresses the ground vehicle reliability prediction process based on a new integrated reliability prediction framework. The integrated stochastic framework combines the computational physics-based predictions with experimental testing information for assessing vehicle reliability. The integrated reliability prediction approach incorporates the following computational steps: i) simulation of stochastic operational environment, ii) vehicle multi-body dynamics analysis, iii) stress prediction in subsystems and components, iv) stochastic progressive damage analysis, and v) component life prediction, including the effects of maintenance and, finally, iv) reliability prediction at component and system level. To solve efficiently and accurately the challenges coming from large-size computational mechanics models and high-dimensional stochastic spaces, a HPC simulation-based approach to the reliability problem was implemented.
Technical Paper

An Integrated High-Performance Computing Reliability Prediction Framework for Ground Vehicle Design Evaluation

This paper addresses some aspects of an on-going multiyear research project for US Army TARDEC. The focus of the research project has been the enhancement of the overall vehicle reliability prediction process. This paper describes briefly few selected aspects of the new integrated reliability prediction approach. The integrated approach uses both computational mechanics predictions and experimental test databases for assessing vehicle system reliability. The integrated reliability prediction approach incorporates the following computational steps: i) simulation of stochastic operational environment, ii) vehicle multi-body dynamics analysis, iii) stress prediction in subsystems and components, iv) stochastic progressive damage analysis, and v) component life prediction, including the effects of maintenance and, finally, iv) reliability prediction at component and system level.
Technical Paper

GPU-based High Performance Parallel Simulation of Tracked Vehicle Operating on Granular Terrain

This contribution demonstrates the use of high performance computing, specifically Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) based computing, for the simulation of tracked ground vehicles. The work closes a gap in physics based simulation related to the inability to accurately characterize the 3D mobility of tracked vehicles on granular terrains (sand and/or gravel). The problem of tracked vehicle mobility on granular material is approached using a discrete element method that accounts for the interaction between the track and each discrete particle in the terrain. This continuum approach captures the dynamics of systems with more than 1,000,000 bodies interacting simultaneously. Two factors render the approach feasible. First, the frictional contact problem between the terrain and the vehicle draws on a convex optimization methodology in which the solution becomes the first order optimality condition of a cone complementarity problem.
Journal Article

Construction and Use of Surrogate Models for the Dynamic Analysis of Multibody Systems

This study outlines an approach for speeding up the simulation of the dynamic response of vehicle models that include hysteretic nonlinear tire components. The method proposed replaces the hysteretic nonlinear tire model with a surrogate model that emulates the dynamic response of the actual tire. The approach is demonstrated via a dynamic simulation of a quarter vehicle model. In the proposed methodology, training information generated with a reduced number of harmonic excitations is used to construct the tire hysteretic force emulator using a Neural Network (NN) element. The proposed approach has two stages: a learning stage, followed by an embedding of the learned model into the quarter car model. The learning related main challenge stems from the attempt to capture with the NN element the behavior of a hysteretic element whose response depends on its loading history.
Technical Paper

A Co-Simulation Environment for Virtual Prototyping of Ground Vehicles

The use of virtual prototyping early in the design stage of a product has gained popularity due to reduced cost and time to market. The state of the art in vehicle simulation has reached a level where full vehicles are analyzed through simulation but major difficulties continue to be present in interfacing the vehicle model with accurate powertrain models and in developing adequate formulations for the contact between tire and terrain (specifically, scenarios such as tire sliding on ice and rolling on sand or other very deformable surfaces). The proposed work focuses on developing a ground vehicle simulation capability by combining several third party packages for vehicle simulation, tire simulation, and powertrain simulation. The long-term goal of this project consists in promoting the Digital Car idea through the development of a reliable and robust simulation capability that will enhance the understanding and control of off-road vehicle performance.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Tire Modelling for Application with Vehicle Simulations Incorporating Terrain

The purpose of this study is to improve predicted tire forces for vehicle simulations on off-road terrain and for simulations incorporating terrain features such as curbs, pavement markers or potholes. The model presented in this paper describes the longitudinal behavior of the tire for traversing high-fidelity terrain profiles. An extended rolling radial-interradial tire model is used to estimate the pressure distribution of the tire contact patch, while a tangential spring model of the tire carcass is used to estimate tractive forces at the tire/road interface. Due to the complexity of the model real-time simulation is not possible, however it is useful for off-line simulations incorporating rough terrain or short-wavelength terrain features.