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Journal Article

Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics System: Concept Development

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 Location-Aware Adaptive Vehicle Dynamics (LAAVD) System is developed to assist the driver in maintaining vehicle handling capabilities through various driving maneuvers. In contrast to current active safety systems, this system is predictive rather than reactive. This work provides the conceptual groundwork for the proposed system. The LAAVD System employs a predictor-corrector method in which the driver's input commands (throttle, brake, steering) and upcoming driving environment (terrain, traffic, weather) are predicted. An Intervention Strategy uses a novel measure of handling capability, the Performance Margin, to assess the need to intervene. The driver's throttle and brake control are modulated to affect desired changes to the Performance Margin in a manner that is minimally intrusive to the driver's control authority.
Journal Article

A High-Resolution Surface Image Capture and Mapping System for Public Roads

This paper presents a system designed to develop a high-resolution map of public roads by capturing high-resolution surface images. Unlike conventional system, the proposed system applies a field programmable gate array (FPGA) to synchronize camera, Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), and Global Positioning System (GPS) by using FPGA’s high clock frequency and flexibility to multiple devices. The proposed system, which can be mounted on a regular vehicle, contains a Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor (CMOS) camera which can achieve 0.006 ms shutter speed and 150 fps frame rate. This camera’s high shutter speed and high frame rate can help capturing images with overlapping region at fast driving speed so that no area is missing from road surface image capturing.
Journal Article

Biomechanical Response of the Human Face and Corresponding Biofidelity of the FOCUS Headform

In order to evaluate a human surrogate, the human and surrogate response must be defined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the response of cadaver subjects to blunt impacts to the frontal bone, nasal bone and maxilla. Force-displacement corridors were developed based on the impact response of each region. Variation in the force-displacement response of the cadaver subjects due to the occurrence of fracture and fracture severity was demonstrated. Additionally, impacts were performed at matched locations using the Facial and Ocular CountermeasUre Safety (FOCUS) headform. The FOCUS headform is capable of measuring forces imposed onto facial structures using internal load cells. Based on the tests performed in this study, the nasal region of the FOCUS headform was found to be the most sensitive to impact location. Due to a wide range in geometrical characteristics, the nasal impact response varied significantly, resulting in wide corridors for human response.
Technical Paper

Modification of the Internal Flows of Thermal Propulsion Systems Using Local Aerodynamic Inserts

Modern thermal propulsion systems (TPS) as part of hybrid powertrains are becoming increasingly complex. They have an increased number of components in comparison to traditionally powered vehicles leading to increased demand in packaging requirements. Many of the components in these systems relate to achieving efficiency gains, weight saving and pollutant reduction. This includes turbochargers and diesel or gasoline particulate filters for example and these are known to be very sensitive to inlet boundary conditions. When overcoming packaging requirements, sub-optimal flow distributions throughout the TPS can easily occur. Moreover, the individual components are often designed in isolation assuming relatively flat and artificially quiescent inlet flow conditions in comparison to those they are actually presented with. Thus, some of the efficiency benefits are lost through reduced component aerodynamic efficiency.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity of Preferred Driving Postures and Determination of Core Seat Track Adjustment Ranges

With advances in virtual prototyping, accurate digital modeling of driving posture is regarded as a fundamental step in the design of ergonomic driver-seat-cabin systems. Extensive work on driving postures has been carried out focusing on the measurement and prediction of driving postures and the determination of comfortable joint angle ranges. However, studies on postural sensitivity are scarce. The current study investigated whether a driver-selected posture actually represents the most preferred one, by comparing the former with ratings of postures selected at 20 predefined places around the original hip joint center (HJC). An experiment was undertaken in a lab setting, using two distinctive driving package geometries: one for a sedan and the other for an SUV. The 20 postural ratings were compared with that of the initial user-selected position.
Technical Paper

A Simplified Battery Model for Hybrid Vehicle Technology Assessment

The objective of this work is to provide a relatively simple battery energy storage and loss model that can be used for technology screening and design/sizing studies of hybrid electric vehicle powertrains. The model dynamic input requires only power demand from the battery terminals (either charging or discharging), and outputs internal battery losses, state-of-charge (SOC), and pack temperature. Measured data from a vehicle validates the model, which achieves reasonable accuracy for current levels up to 100 amps for the size battery tested. At higher current levels, the model tends to report a higher current than what is needed to create the same power level shown through the measured data. Therefore, this battery model is suitable for evaluating hybrid vehicle technology and energy use for part load drive cycles.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Design Analysis and Validation for the Equinox REVLSE E85 Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2005 - 2007 Challenge X advanced technology vehicle competition series, sponsored by General Motors Corporation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Argonne National Lab. This report documents the Equinox REVLSE (Renewable Energy Vehicle, the Larsen Special Edition) design and specifies how it meets the Vehicle Technical Specifications (VTS) set by Challenge X and HEVT through simulation and test results. The report also documents the vehicle control development process, specifies the control code generation, demonstrates an analysis of hybrid powertrain losses, and presents the REVLSE vehicle balance in its intended market.
Technical Paper

Predicting Driving Postures and Seated Positions in SUVs Using a 3D Digital Human Modeling Tool

3D digital human modeling (DHM) tools for vehicle packaging facilitate ergonomic design and evaluation based on anthropometry, comfort, and force analysis. It is now possible to quickly predict postures and positions for drivers with selected anthropometry based on ergonomics principles. Despite their powerful visual representation technology for human movements and postures, these tools are still questioned with regard to the validity of the output they provide, especially when predictions are made for different populations. Driving postures and positions of two populations (i.e. North Americans and Koreans) were measured in actual and mock-up SUVs to investigate postural differences and evaluate the results provided by a DHM tool. No difference in driving postures was found between different stature groups within the same population. Between the two populations, however, preferred angles differed for three joints (i.e., ankle, thigh, and hip).
Technical Paper

Vehicle Inertia Impact on Fuel Consumption of Conventional and Hybrid Electric Vehicles Using Acceleration and Coast Driving Strategy

In the past few years, the price of petroleum based fuels, especially vehicle fuels such as gasoline and diesel, have been increasing at a significant rate. Consequently, there is much more consumer interest related to reducing fuel consumption of conventional and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The “pulse and glide” (PnG) driving strategy is first applied to a conventional vehicle to quantify the fuel consumption benefits when compared to steady state speed (cruising) conditions over the same time and distance. Then an HEV is modeled and tested to investigate if a hybrid system can further reduce fuel consumption with the proposed strategy. Note that the HEV used in this study has the advantage that the engine can be automatically shut off below a certain speed (∼40 mph, 64 kph) at low loads, however a driver must shut off the engine manually in a conventional vehicle to apply this driving strategy.
Technical Paper

Avoiding the Pitfalls in Motorsports Data Acquisition

Restrictions on track testing, combined with advances in technology, have contributed to an increased dependence on sensors and data acquisition for diagnosing problems and improving performance in motorsports vehicles. This dependence has created a new set of challenges for race engineers to collect quality data from a vehicle at the track. Successful 7- or 8-post shaker rig testing is highly dependent on the quality of the data acquired at the track. An improperly configured data acquisition system can actually be worse than a faulty sensor. This paper highlights a few of the most common problems in motorsports data acquisition: aliasing and sample rate selection. The effects of these problems are described for typical suspension sensors such as accelerometers, shock potentiometers, load cells, and laser ride height sensors. An experimental case study is presented to explain the implications of these problems.
Technical Paper

Closed Loop Transaxle Synchronization Control Design

This paper covers the development of a closed loop transaxle synchronization algorithm which was a key deliverable in the control system design for the L3 Enigma, a Battery Dominant Hybrid Electric Vehicle. Background information is provided to help the reader understand the history that lead to this unique solution of the input and output shaft synchronizing that typically takes place in a manual vehicle transmission or transaxle when shifting into a gear from another or into a gear from neutral when at speed. The algorithm stability is discussed as it applies to system stability and how stability impacts the speed at which a shift can take place. Results are simulated in The MathWorks Simulink programming environment and show how traction motor technology can be used to efficiently solve what is often a machine design issue. The vehicle test bed to which this research is applied is a parallel biodiesel hybrid electric vehicle called the Enigma.
Technical Paper

A Multi-Modality Image Data Collection Protocol for Full Body Finite Element Model Development

This study outlines a protocol for image data collection acquired from human volunteers. The data set will serve as the foundation of a consolidated effort to develop the next generation full-body Finite Element Analysis (FEA) models for injury prediction and prevention. The geometry of these models will be based off the anatomy of four individuals meeting extensive prescreening requirements and representing the 5th and 50th percentile female, and the 50th and 95th percentile male. Target values for anthropometry are determined by literature sources. Because of the relative strengths of various modalities commonly in use today in the clinical and engineering worlds, a multi-modality approach is outlined. This approach involves the use of Computed Tomography (CT), upright and closed-bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and external anthropometric measurements.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Laboratory Testing of Truck Cab Suspensions

This work pertains to laboratory testing of truck cab suspensions for the purpose of improving in-cab ride quality. It describes the testing procedure of a complete truck cab suspension while still being mounted on the vehicle. It allows for testing with minimal amount of resources, limited to two mobile actuators and minimal modifications to the stock vehicle. The actuators can be attached to any axle through a set of modified brake drums and excite the drive axle in a vertical plane. The excitation signal sent to the actuators can be in phase for a heave type motion or out of phase for a roll motion. The chassis shock absorbers are replaced with rigid links to prevent the actuator input from becoming filtered by the primary suspension. This allows the input to reach the cab suspension more directly and the cab to be excited across a broader range of frequencies.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Accounting for Uneven Ride Height in Soft Suspensions with Large Lateral Separation

This study pertains to motion control algorithms using statistical calculations based on relative displacement measurements, in particular where the rattle space is strictly limited by fixed end-stops and a load leveling system that allows for roll to go undetected by the sensors. One such application is the cab suspension of semi trucks that use widely-spaced springs and dampers and a load leveling system that is placed between the suspensions, near the center line of the cab. In such systems it is possible for the suspension on the two sides of the vehicle to settle at different ride heights due to uneven loading or the crown of the road. This paper will compare the use of two moving average signals (one positive and one negative) to the use of one root mean square (RMS) signal, all calculated based on the relative displacement measurement.
Technical Paper

Target Population for Injury Reduction from Pre-Crash Systems

Pre-Crash Systems (PCS) integrate the features of active and passive safety systems to reduce both crash and injury severity. Upon detection of an impending collision, PCS can provide an early warning to the driver and activate automatic braking to reduce the crash severity for the subject vehicle. PCS can also activate the seatbelt pretensioners prior to impact. This paper identifies the opportunities for injury prevention in crash types for which PCS can be potentially activated. These PCS applicable crash types include rear-end crashes, single vehicle crashes into objects (trees, poles, structures, parked vehicles), and head-on crashes. PCS can benefit the occupants of both the striking and struck vehicle. In this paper, the opportunity for injury reduction in the struck vehicle is also tabulated. The study is based upon the analysis of approximately 20,000 frontal crash cases extracted from NASS / CDS 1997-2008.
Technical Paper

Assessment of High-Temperature Encapsulants for Planar Packages

Seven encapsulants with operating temperatures up to 250°C were surveyed for use in planar packages for wide-bandgap dice. Two of the encapsulants failed processability test because they were not able to flow, and another two failed because they induced voids or cracks after curing. The dielectric results of the remaining three encapsulants showed that both dielectric strength and permittivity decreased almost 40% when the temperature was increased up to 250°C. As the three encapsulants were used to encapsulate a power module, it was proven that all of them could protect the package from early breakdown caused by the poor dielectric strength of air.
Technical Paper

Thermo-Mechanical Reliability of Nano-Silver Sintered Joints versus Lead-Free Solder Joints for Attaching Large-Area Silicon Devices

Nano-silver sintered bonding was carried out at 275°C and under 3MPa pressures, and soldering in a vacuum reflowing oven to reduce voiding. Both joints are subject to large shear stresses due to the mismatch in coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE) between the chip and the substrate. In this study, residual stresses in the chip-on-substrate assemblies were determined by measuring the bending curvatures of the bonded structures. An in-house optical setup measured the bending curvatures using a thin-film stress measurement technique. From the measured bending curvatures and the mechanical properties of the constituent materials, residual stresses were calculated. The thermo-mechanical reliabilities of both joining techniques were tested by thermal cycling. The chip assemblies were cycled between -40°C and 125°C (100 minutes of cycle time, 10 minutes of dwell time) and the changes in their bending curvatures were measured.
Technical Paper

Yaw Stability Control and Emergency Roll Control for Vehicle Rollover Mitigation

In this paper a yaw stability control algorithm along with an emergency roll control strategy have been developed. The yaw stability controller and emergency roll controller were both developed using linear two degree-of-freedom vehicle models. The yaw stability controller is based on Lyapunov stability criteria and uses vehicle lateral acceleration and yaw rate measurements to calculate the corrective yaw moment required to stabilize the vehicle yaw motion. The corrective yaw moment is then applied by means of a differential braking strategy in which one wheel is selected to be braked with appropriate brake torque applied. The emergency roll control strategy is based on a rollover coefficient related to vehicle static stability factor. The emergency roll control strategy utilizes vehicle lateral acceleration measurements to calculate the roll coefficient. If the roll coefficient exceeds some predetermined threshold value the emergency roll control strategy will deploy.
Technical Paper

Development of Auditory Warning Signals for Mitigating Heavy Truck Rear-End Crashes

Rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks occur with sufficient frequency that they are a cause of concern within regulatory agencies. In 2006, there were approximately 23,500 rear-end crashes involving heavy trucks which resulted in 135 fatalities. As part of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) goal of reducing the overall number of truck crashes, the Enhanced Rear Signaling (ERS) for Heavy Trucks project was developed to investigate methods to reduce or mitigate those crashes where a heavy truck has been struck from behind by another vehicle. Researchers also utilized what had been learned in the rear-end crash avoidance work with light vehicles that was conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) serving as the prime research organization. ERS crash countermeasures investigated included passive conspicuity markings, visual signals, and auditory signals.
Technical Paper

Utilization of Finite Element Analysis to Develop Automotive Components

The finite element method (FEM) is used daily in the automotive industry for such purposes as reducing the time of product development and improving the design based on analysis results, followed by later validation by tests in the laboratory and on the proving ground. This paper will present some of the methodology used to develop automotive components by finite element analysis, including procedures to specialize FEM models to obtain quantitative and qualitative results for systems such as body, chassis, and suspension components, as well as validation of the models by experimental data.