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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

Advanced Castings Made Possible Through Additive Manufacturing

Binder jetting of sand molds and cores for metal casting provides a scalable and efficient means of producing metal components with complex geometric features made possible only by Additive Manufacturing. Topology optimization software that can mathematically determine the optimum placement of material for a given set of design requirements has been available for quite some time. However, the optimized designs are often not manufacturable using standard metal casting processes due to undercuts, backdraft and other issues. With the advent of binder-based 3D printing technology, sand molds and cores can be produced to make these optimized designs as metal castings.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Evaluation of Two Maglev Designs

Wind tunnel tests were conducted on two variations of a Grumman design for a Maglev vehicle The tests employed a moving belt system simulation of an elevated track which was designed to properly simulate the flowfield for Maglev vehicle configurations of the EMS type where the vehicle undercarriage partially wraps around or encloses the track Lift and drag forces and vehicle pitching moments were measured over a wide range of Reynolds number and the results compared with computations made by Grumman The tests also included measurements of flowfield velocity and turbulence profiles downstream of the vehicles and pressure measurements over the vehicle nose The test results showed a slight difference between the two designs with a possible reason to give preference to one of the designs due to reduced pitching moment.
Technical Paper

An Extended-Range Electric Vehicle Control Strategy for Reducing Petroleum Energy Use and Well-to-Wheel Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2008 - 2011 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series organized by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and sponsored by General Motors (GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE). Following GM's vehicle development process, HEVT established goals that meet or exceed the competition requirements for EcoCAR in the design of a plug-in, range-extended hybrid electric vehicle. The challenge involves designing a crossover SUV powertrain to reduce fuel consumption, petroleum energy use and well-to-wheels (WTW) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In order to interface with and control the vehicle, the team added a National Instruments (NI) CompactRIO (cRIO) to act as a hybrid vehicle supervisory controller (HVSC).
Journal Article

Battery Charge Balance and Correction Issues in Hybrid Electric Vehicles for Individual Phases of Certification Dynamometer Driving Cycles as Used in EPA Fuel Economy Label Calculations

This study undertakes an investigation of the effect of battery charge balance in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) on EPA fuel economy label values. EPA's updated method was fully implemented in 2011 and uses equations which weight the contributions of fuel consumption results from multiple dynamometer tests to synthesize city and highway estimates that reflect average U.S. driving patterns. For the US06 and UDDS cycles, the test results used in the computation come from individual phases within the overall certification driving cycles. This methodology causes additional complexities for hybrid vehicles, because although they are required to be charge-balanced over the course of a full drive cycle, they may have net charge or discharge within the individual phases. As a result, the fuel consumption value used in the label value calculation can be skewed.
Technical Paper

Can Semiactive Dampers with Skyhook Control Improve Roll Stability of Passenger Vehicles?

Skyhook control has been used extensively for semiactive dampers for a variety of applications, most widely for passenger vehicle suspensions. This paper provides an experimental evaluation of how well skyhook control works for improving roll stability of a passenger vehicle. After discussing the formulation for various semiactive control methods that have been suggested in the past for vehicle suspensions, the paper includes the implementation of a semiactive system with magneto-rheological (MR) dampers on a sport utility vehicle. The vehicle is used for a series of road tests that includes lane change maneuvers, with different types of suspensions. The suspensions that are tested include the stock suspension, the uncontrolled MR dampers, skyhook control, and a new semiactive control method called “SIA skyhook.” The SIA Skyhook augments the conventional skyhook control with steering input, in order to account for the suspension requirements during a lateral maneuver.
Journal Article

Comparison of the Performance of 7-Post and 8-Post Dynamic Shaker Rigs for Vehicle Dynamics Studies

This paper documents a simple theoretical analysis and an experimental performance comparison of the advantages of an 8-post shaker rig relative to a conventional 7-post shaker rig. A simple static model describing the chassis roll and warp characteristics is first presented to illustrate the differences between 7-post and 8-post configurations, and the conditions where an additional aeroloader provides an advantage. Using a late model NASCAR Sprint Cup car, a series of experimental tests were conducted with the 8-post shaker rig at the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER) facility in both 7-post and 8-post configurations. Experimental results confirm the hypothesis that an 8-post configuration is able to more accurately reproduce target motions of the chassis and suspension when those motions include a chassis warp condition.
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.
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.
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.
Technical Paper

Development & Integration of a Charge Sustaining Control Strategy for a Series-Parallel Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2012-2014 EcoCAR 2: Plugging in to the Future Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series organized by Argonne National Lab (ANL), and sponsored by General Motors Corporation (GM) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The goals of the competition are to reduce well-to-wheel (WTW) petroleum energy consumption (PEU), WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions while maintaining vehicle performance, consumer acceptability and safety. Following the EcoCAR 2 Vehicle Development Process (VDP), HEVT is designing, building, and refining an advanced technology vehicle over the course of the three year competition using a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu donated by GM as a base vehicle.
Technical Paper

Development and Validation of an E85 Split Parallel E-REV

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT) is participating in the 2009 - 2011 EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition series organized by Argonne National Lab (ANL), and sponsored by General Motors Corporation (GM), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Following GM's Vehicle Development Process (VDP), HEVT established team goals that meet or exceed the competition requirements for EcoCAR in the design of a plug-in extended-range hybrid electric vehicle. The competition requires participating teams to improve and redesign a stock Vue XE donated by GM. The result of this design process is an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) that uses grid electric energy and E85 fuel for propulsion. The vehicle design is predicted to achieve an SAE J1711 utility factor corrected fuel consumption of 2.9 L(ge)/100 km (82 mpgge) with an estimated all electric range of 69 km (43 miles) [1].
Technical Paper

Development of a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control Strategy Employing Software-In-the-Loop Techniques

In an age of growing complexity with regards to vehicle control systems, verification and validation of control algorithms is a rigorous and time consuming process. With the help of rapid control prototyping techniques, designers and developers have cost effective ways of validating controls under a quicker time frame. These techniques involve developments of plant models that replicate the systems that a control algorithm will interface with. These developments help to reduce costs associated with construction of prototypes. In standard design cycles, iterations were needed on prototypes in order to finalize systems. These iterations could result in code changes, new interfacing, and reconstruction, among other issues. The time and resources required to complete these were far beyond desired. With the help of simulated interfaces, many of these issues can be recognized prior to physical integration.
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

Field Relevance of the New Car Assessment Program Lane Departure Warning Confirmation Test

The availability of active safety systems, such as Lane Departure Warning (LDW), has recently been added as a rating factor in the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). The objective of this study is to determine the relevance of the NCAP LDW confirmation test to real-world road departure crashes. This study is based on data collected as part of supplemental crash reconstructions performed on 890 road departure collisions from the National Automotive Sampling System, Crashworthiness Data System (NASS/CDS). Scene diagrams and photographs were examined to determine the lane departure and lane marking characteristics not available in the original data. The results suggest that the LDW confirmation test captures many of the conditions observed in real-world road departures. For example, 40% of all single vehicle collisions in the dataset involved a drift-out-of-lane type of departures represented by the test.
Journal Article

Fleetwide Safety Benefits of Production Forward Collision and Lane Departure Warning Systems

Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) systems are two active safety systems that have recently been added to the U.S. New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) evaluation. Vehicles that pass confirmation tests may advertise the presence of FCW and LDW alongside the vehicle's star safety rating derived from crash tests. This paper predicts the number of crashes and injured drivers that could be prevented if all vehicles in the U.S. fleet were equipped with production FCW and/or LDW systems. Models of each system were developed using the test track data collected for 16 FCW and 10 LDW systems by the NCAP confirmation tests. These models were used in existing fleetwide benefits models developed for FCW and LDW. The 16 FCW systems evaluated could have potentially prevented between 9% and 53% of all rear-end collisions and prevented between 19% and 60% of injured (MAIS2+) drivers. Earlier warning times prevented more warnings and injuries.
Technical Paper

Fuel Permeation Study on Various Seal Materials

The advent of low emission regulations on fuel systems has made conventional sealing materials such as acry-lonitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) unfit for sealing most fuel systems. Therefore, it is imperative to look beyond conventional rubbers and towards more exotic materials to seal such applications. In this study, the permeation characteristics and the change in physical properties of several elastomeric materials (NBR, hydrogenated NBR (HNBR), and fluorocarbon elastomers (FKM)) as well as various poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) composites were evaluated with four different fuel mixtures. The sealing materials were tested using vaporimeter cups. The results are discussed as a function of the materials' nature, composition, and filler content.
Journal Article

Impact of Intelligent Transportation Systems on Vehicle Fuel Consumption and Emission Modeling: An Overview

Climate change due to greenhouse gas emissions has led to new vehicle emissions standards which in turn have led to a call for vehicle technologies to meet these standards. Modeling of vehicle fuel consumption and emissions emerged as an effective tool to help in developing and assessing such technologies, to help in predicting aggregate vehicle fuel consumption and emissions, and to complement traffic simulation models. The paper identifies the current state of the art on vehicle fuel consumption and emissions modeling and its utilization to test the environmental impact of the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)’ measures and to evaluate transportation network improvements. The study presents the relevant models to ITS in the key classifications of models in this research area. It demonstrates that the trends of vehicle fuel consumption and emissions provided by current models generally do satisfactorily replicate field data trends.
Technical Paper

Impact of Supervisory Control on Criteria Tailpipe Emissions for an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech participated in the three-year EcoCAR Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition organized by Argonne National Laboratory, and sponsored by General Motors and the U.S. Department of Energy. The team established goals for the design of a plug-in, range-extended hybrid electric vehicle that meets or exceeds the competition requirements for EcoCAR. The challenge involved designing a crossover SUV powertrain to reduce fuel consumption, petroleum energy use, regulated tailpipe emissions, and well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions. To interface with and control the hybrid powertrain, the team added a Hybrid Vehicle Supervisory Controller, which enacts a torque split control strategy. This paper builds on an earlier paper [1] that evaluated the petroleum energy use, criteria tailpipe emissions, and greenhouse gas emissions of the Virginia Tech EcoCAR vehicle and control strategy from the 2nd year of the competition.
Technical Paper

Model-Based Design of a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Control Strategy

The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) of Virginia Tech is participating in the 2011-2014 EcoCAR 2 competition in which the team is tasked with re-engineering the powertrain of a GM donated vehicle. The primary goals of the competition are to reduce well to wheels (WTW) petroleum energy use (PEU) and reduce WTW greenhouse gas (GHG) and criteria emissions while maintaining performance, safety, and consumer acceptability. To meet these goals HEVT has designed a series parallel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) with multiple modes of operation. This paper will first cover development of the control system architecture with a dual CAN bus structure to meet the requirements of the vehicle architecture. Next an online optimization control strategy to minimize fuel consumption will be developed. A simple vehicle plant model will then be used for software-in-the-loop (SIL) testing to improve fuel economy.