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A Physics-Based Terrain Model for Off-Road Vehicle Simulations

[+] Author Affiliations
Justin Madsen, Andrew Seidl, Dan Negrut

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Paul Ayers, George Bozdech

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Alexander Reid, James O’Kins

US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Warren, MI

Paper No. DETC2012-70159, pp. 21-30; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 1st Biennial International Conference on Dynamics for Design; 14th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4505-9
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


We present the development of a three-dimensional Vehicle/Tire/Terrain Interaction Model (VTTIM) consisting of a general 3D tire-terrain traction model which operates on a novel deformable terrain representation that utilizes a soil compaction model. Rather than utilizing popular empirical terramechanics models that only consider the pressure/sinkage directly under the tire, the governing equations of the terrain are based on i) the propagation of subsoil stresses due to vehicular loads, and ii) the resulting stress/strain which is based on a visco-elastic-plastic soil model developed by Ayers and Bozdech. The implementation of the terrain model is modularized in the form of an API, as the vehicle and tire are assumed to be contained in commercial simulation software as to focus on the implementation of the deformable terrain model. A number of test simulations are run using a rigid tire with and without grousers to show the capability of the VTTIM to predict tire forces for use in vehicle mobility and traction performance simulations. Power and energy required to deform the terrain will also be presented with the simulation results, which allows the prediction of the extra power required by a vehicle traveling on off-road, deformable soil.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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