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Real-Time Anticipatory Suspension Control for Single Event Disturbances
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Most commercial vehicles currently on the market are still equipped with a passive suspension system, while some luxury brands may already use an adaptive suspension. Active suspension systems on the other hand are rarely found, however, they offer great opportunities to close the gap of the well-known trade-off between ride comfort and handling. Besides that, they can also be used to mitigate single event disturbances, an objective of the USA army as announced in a solicitation which initiated and motivated this research. In addition to that, several studies were found stating the impact and danger of potholes and their impact on the vehicle and passenger. Reviewing the literature, several control strategies for controlling active suspension systems were found. However, most of these approaches used feedback control and did not try to mitigate single event disturbances. Since literature also suggested making use of look ahead preview, research at the Performance Engineering Research Lab at Virginia Tech was started in 2015 combining look ahead preview and an adaptive system to generate optimal force profiles. This introductory research succeeded and proved the used approach to be very promising. However, the used adaptive system was not designed to operate in real-time and did not show any correlation between different road profiles. Therefore, the main objective of this research project is to evaluate and analyze each of the adaptive systems by searching for correlations in their solutions. The results then should be used in order to design a control law which emulates the adaptive system and can be used in a real-time environment. First, an overall research methodology was derived. According to this a software application was developed which extracts ideal force profiles from single event disturbance signals in order to mitigate their impact to the vehicle. The application uses a quarter car model with a partially loaded active suspension system, a set of predefined road profiles, a road profile preprocessor, and an adaptive algorithm. The preprocessing includes geometric filtering using a Tandem-Cam Model and the adaptive processor used an iterative version of the Filtered-X Last-Mean-Square algorithm. During evaluation and analysis of several generated data sets, high correlations in the generated and adjusted adaptive systems were discovered. From these an empirical and theoretical universal filter model was derived, which was then used to design an open-loop control law named Optimal Force Control. The original control law and an adjusted version designed for a real-time environment were tested for all predefined road profiles over all considered vehicle velocities and prove to perform much better than the offline solution using the adaptive system. In summary, a control law named Optimal Force Control was designed which can be used and implemented in a vehicle to extract an analytical and ideal force profile given a road profile input. Implementing an active suspension system with tracking controller, this approach can be used in order to mitigate single event disturbance signals by reducing the vertical vehicle acceleration.
- Masters Theses