Implication of Terrain Topology Modelling on Ground Vehicle Reliability
Kawale, Sujay J.
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The accuracy of computer-based ground vehicle durability and ride quality simulations depends on accurate representation of road surface topology as an excitation to vehicle dynamics simulation software, since most of the excitation input to a vehicle as it traverses terrain is provided by the surface topology. It is not computationally efficient to utilise physically measured terrain topology for these simulations since extremely large data sets would be required to represent terrain of all desired types. Moreover, performing repeated simulations on the same set of measured data would not provide a random character typical of real world usage. There exist several methods of synthesising terrain data through the use of stochastic or mathematical models in order to capture such physical properties of measured terrain as roughness, bank angle and grade. In first part of this work, the autoregressive model and the Markov chain model have been applied to generate synthetic two-dimensional terrain profiles. The synthesised terrain profiles generated are expected to capture the statistical properties of the measured data. A methodology is then proposed; to assess the performance of these models of terrain in capturing the statistical properties of the measured terrain. This is done through the application of several statistical property tests to the measured and synthesized terrain profiles. The second part of this work describes the procedure that has been followed to assess the performance of these models in capturing the vehicle component fatigue-inducing characteristics of the measured terrain, by predicting suspension component fatigue life based on the loading conditions obtained from the measured terrain and the corresponding synthesized terrain. The terrain model assessment methodology presented in this work can be applied to any model of terrain, serving to identify which terrain models are suited to which type of terrain.
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