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Slip-based experimental studies of a vehicle interacting with natural snowy terrain

Jonah H. Lee, Daisy Huang, Thomas H. Johnson, Stephen Meurer, Alexander A. Reid, Bill R. Meldrum
Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 49, Issue 5, October 2012, Pages 233-244, ISSN 0022-4898, 10.1016/j.jterra.2012.07.002.
Abstract: As longitudinal slip affects vehicle–pavement interactions on roads and hard surfaces, so too does it play an important role in interactions between vehicles and soft terrains, including snow. Although many slip-based models have been developed recently for tire–snow interactions (e.g., 1 and references cited therein), these models have only been partially validated, due to a lack of relevant experimental data. This paper presents comprehensive data from tests that were performed using a newly-developed test vehicle traversing natural snowy terrain, over a wide range of values for longitudinal slip, vertical load and torque via an effective accelerate/brake maneuver. Drawbar pull, motion resistance, wheel states and tire stiffness were presented as a function of slip; tire sinkage was obtained using a laser profilometer; strength and depth of snow were found using a snow micropenetrometer. The effects of the rear tire going over snow compacted by the front tire were also studied. The maximum traction force normalized by the vertical load is found to be ≈0.47, maximum motion resistance normalized by the vertical load is ≈0.4. Comparison of the trend and order-of-magnitude of test results with those from existing slip-based numerical model 1 shows good comparison in motion resistance, tire sinkage, and longitudinal stiffness, but indicates that a better traction model is needed to improve the comparison.
Keywords: Tire; Longitudinal slip; Interfacial forces; Drawbar pull; Traction; Motion resistance; Wheel state; Tire stiffness; Snow depth; Snow strength