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Mobility algorithm evaluation using a consolidated database developed for wheeled vehicles operating on dry sands

Farshid Vahedifard, Joe D. Robinson, George L. Mason, Isaac L. Howard, Jody D. Priddy
Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 63, February 2016, Pages 13-22, ISSN 0022-4898,
A substantial number of laboratory and field tests have been conducted to assess performance of various wheel designs in loose soils. However, there is no consolidated database which includes data from several sources. In this study, a consolidated database was created on tests conducted with wheeled vehicles operating in loose dry sand to evaluate existing soil mobility algorithms. The database included wheels of different diameters, widths, heights, and inflation pressures, operating under varying loading conditions. Nine technical reports were identified containing 5253 records, based on existing archives of laboratory and field tests of wheels operating in loose soils. The database structure was assembled to include traction performance parameters such as drawbar pull, torque, traction, motion resistance, sinkage, and wheel slip. Once developed, the database was used to evaluate and support validation of closed form solutions for these variables in the Vehicle Terrain Interface (VTI) model. The correlation between predicted and measured traction performance parameters was evaluated. Comparison of the predicted versus measured performance parameters suggests that the closed form solutions within the VTI model are functional but can be further improved to provide more accurate predictions for off-road vehicle performance.
Keywords: Mobility; Sand; Drawbar pull; Motion resistance; Sinkage; Vehicle Terrain Interface (VTI); Database