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Technical Paper

Developing a Compact Continuous-State Markov Chain for Terrain Road Profiles

Accurate terrain models provide the chassis designer with a powerful tool to make informed design decisions early in the design process. It is beneficial to characterize the terrain as a stochastic process, allowing limitless amounts of synthetic terrain to be created from a small number of parameters. A continuous-state Markov chain is proposed as an alternative to the traditional discrete-state chain currently used in terrain modeling practice. For discrete-state chains, the profile transitions are quantized then characterized by a transition matrix (with many values). In contrast, the transition function of a continuous-state chain represents the probability density of transitioning between any two states in the continuum of terrain heights. The transition function developed in this work uses a location-scale distribution with polynomials modeling the parameters as functions of the current state.
Journal Article

Control Strategy for the Excitation of a Complete Vehicle Test Rig with Terrain Constraints

A unique concept for a multi-body test rig enabling the simulation of longitudinal, steering and vertical dynamics was developed at the Institute for Mechatronic Systems (IMS) at TU Darmstadt. A prototype of this IMS test rig is currently being built. In conjunction with the IMS test rig, the Vehicle Terrain Performance Laboratory (VTPL) at Virginia Tech further developed a full car, seven degree of freedom (7 DOF) simulation model capable of accurately reproducing measured displacement, pitch, and roll of the vehicle body due to terrain excitation. The results of the 7 DOF car model were used as the reference input to the multi-body IMS test rig model. The goal of the IMS/VTPL joint effort was to determine whether or not a controller for the IMS test rig vertical actuator could accurately reproduce wheel displacements due to different measured terrain constraints.
Journal Article

Using Performance Margin and Dynamic Simulation for Location Aware Adaptation of Vehicle Dynamics

One seminal question that faces a vehicle's driver (either human or computer) is predicting the capability of the vehicle as it encounters upcoming terrain. A Performance Margin (PM) is defined in this work as the ratio of the required tractive effort to the available tractive effort for the front and rear respectively. This simple definition stems from and incorporates many traditional handling metrics and is robust in its scope of applicability. The PM is implemented in an Intervention Strategy demonstrating its use to avoid situations in which the vehicle exceeds its handling capabilities. Results from a design case study are presented to show the potential efficacy of developing a PM-based control system.
Technical Paper

Developing a Methodology to Synthesize Terrain Profiles and Evaluate their Statistical Properties

The accuracy of computer-based ground vehicle durability and ride quality simulations depends on accurate representation of road surface topology as vehicle excitation data since most of the excitation exerted on a vehicle as it traverses terrain is provided by the terrain topology. It is currently not efficient to obtain accurate terrain profile data of sufficient length to simulate the vehicle being driven over long distances. Hence, durability and ride quality evaluations of a vehicle depend mostly on data collected from physical tests. Such tests are both time consuming and expensive, and can only be performed near the end of a vehicle's design cycle. This paper covers the development of a methodology to synthesize terrain profile data based on the statistical analysis of physically measured terrain profile data.
Journal Article

Robust Semi-Active Ride Control under Stochastic Excitation

Ride control of military vehicles is challenging due to varied terrain and mission requirements such as operating weight. Achieving top speeds on rough terrain is typically considered a key performance parameter, which is always constrained by ride discomfort. Many military vehicles using passive suspensions suffer with compromised performance due to single tuning solution. To further stretch the performance domain to achieving higher speeds on rough roads, semi-active suspensions may offer a wide range of damping possibilities under varying conditions. In this paper, various semi-active control strategies are examined, and improvements have been made, particularly, to the acceleration-driven damper (ADD) strategy to make the approach more robust for varying operating conditions. A seven degrees of freedom ride model and a quarter-car model were developed that were excited by a random road process input modeled using an auto-regressive time series model.
Journal Article

Enhancement of Collision Mitigation Braking System Performance Through Real-Time Estimation of Tire-road Friction Coefficient by Means of Smart Tires

In the case of modern day vehicle control systems employing a feedback control structure, a real-time estimate of the tire-road contact parameters is invaluable for enhancing the performance of the chassis control systems such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) systems. However, at present, the commercially available tire monitoring systems are not equipped to sense and transmit high speed dynamic variables used for real-time active safety control systems. Consequently, under the circumstances of sudden changes to the road conditions, the driver's ability to maintain control of the vehicle maybe at risk. In many cases, this requires intervention from the chassis control systems onboard the vehicle. Although these systems perform well in a variety of situations, their performance can be improved if a real-time estimate of the tire-road friction coefficient is available.
Journal Article

The Development of Terrain Pre-filtering Technique Based on Constraint Mode Tire Model

The vertical force generated from terrain-tire interaction has long been of interest for vehicle dynamic simulations and chassis development. To improve simulation efficiency while still providing reliable load prediction, a terrain pre-filtering technique using a constraint mode tire model is developed. The wheel is assumed to convey one quarter of the vehicle load constantly. At each location along the tire's path, the wheel center height is adjusted until the spindle load reaches the pre-designated load. The resultant vertical trajectory of the wheel center can be used as an equivalent terrain profile input to a simplified tire model. During iterative simulations, the filtered terrain profile, coupled with a simple point follower tire model is used to predict the spindle force. The same vehicle dynamic simulation system coupled with constraint mode tire model is built to generate reference forces.