Application of Magnetorheological Dampers for Vehicle Seat Suspensions
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The first task was to analyze the source of the unexpected peak in the acceleration spectrum of the suspended seat. This analysis was accomplished using a combination of pure tone inputs and a Fourier analysis of a simple model of the system. This analysis indicated that the peak is actually three times the resonant frequency of the seat suspension. The analysis also indicates that the frequency components continue at odd multiples of the resonant frequency, however, the third peak is the most noticeable. The third multiple is in the resonant frequency range (4-8 Hz) of the human body, so it was initially blamed for the poor subjective feel of the seat. However, solutions to remove this harmonic were tested without success.
The work progressed to a time domain analysis, which eventually led to determining the source of the poor subjective feel. The seat suspension was excited with a variety of inputs. The seat acceleration and damper control current were examined in the time domain to show that the cause of the poor subjective feel is the control signal discontinuities. The control policy was modified to remove the control signal discontinuities and was found to improve the subjective feel of the seat.
Finally, several two-degree-of-freedom control policies were implemented and tested. Although the results from this testing are inconclusive, they generated several recommendations for future research.