A Method for the Characterization of Off-Road Terrain Severity
Highway and roadway surface measurement is a practice that has been ongoing for decades now. This sort of measurement is intended to ensure a safe level of road perturbances. The measurement may be conducted by a slow moving apparatus directly measuring the elevation of the road, at varying distance intervals, to obtain a road profile, with varying degrees of resolution. An alternate means is to measure the surface roughness at highway speeds using accelerometers coupled with high speed distance measurements, such as laser sensors. Vehicles out rigged with such a system are termed inertial profilers. This type of inertial measurement provides a sort of filtered roadway profile. Much research has been conducted on the analysis of highway roughness, and the associated metrics involved. In many instances, it is desirable to maintain an off-road course such that the course will provide sufficient challenges to a vehicle during durability testing.