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Proceedings Paper

The development of an assessment tool for the mobility of lightweight autonomous vehicles on coastal terrain
Author(s): Marilyn E. Worley; Ping Ren; Corina Sandu; Dennis Hong
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Paper Abstract

This study focuses on developing an assessment tool for the performance prediction of lightweight autonomous vehicles with varying locomotion platforms on coastal terrain involves three segments. A table based on the House of Quality shows the relationships - high, low, or adverse - between mission profile requirements and general performance measures and geometries of vehicles under consideration for use. This table, when combined with known values for vehicle metrics, provides information for an index formula used to quantitatively compare the mobility of a user-chosen set of vehicles, regardless of their methods of locomotion. To study novel forms of locomotion, and to compare their mobility and performance with more traditional wheeled and tracked vehicles, several new autonomous vehicles - bipedal, self-excited dynamic tripedal, active spoke-wheel - are currently under development. While the terramechanics properties of wheeled and tracked vehicles, such as the contact patch pressure distribution, have been understood and models have been developed for heavy vehicles, the feasibility of extrapolating them to the analysis of light vehicles is still under analysis. wheeled all-terrain vehicle and a lightweight autonomous tracked vehicle have been tested for effects of sand gradation, vehicle speed, and vehicle payload on measures of pressure and sinkage in the contact patch, and preliminary analysis is presented on the sinkage of the wheeled all-terrain vehicle. These three segments - development of the comparison matrix and indexing function, modeling and development of novel forms of locomotion, and physical experimentation of lightweight tracked and wheeled vehicles on varying terrain types for terramechanic model validation - combine to give an overall picture of mobility that spans across different forms of locomotion.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 May 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6564, Modeling and Simulation for Military Operations II, 65640N (10 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.718834
Show Author Affiliations
Marilyn E. Worley, Virginia Tech (United States)
Ping Ren, Virginia Tech (United States)
Corina Sandu, Virginia Tech (United States)
Dennis Hong, Virginia Tech (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6564:
Modeling and Simulation for Military Operations II
Kevin Schum; Dawn A. Trevisani, Editor(s)

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