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Multi-vehicle convoy mobility in severe terrain conditions: Factor impact analysis, estimation and control strategy

Jeremy P. Gray, Vladimir V. Vantsevich  Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 61, October 2015, Pages 43-61, ISSN 0022-4898,  

Military vehicle convoys are logistical supply chains that are heavily relied upon and are very often operated in severe terrain conditions. As it is shown in this article, the convoy mobility analytical estimation becomes a rather difficult task since the track, and thus tire–terrain interaction, is formed by multiple vehicles of a convoy driving over the same track. Furthermore, the distribution of power between the drive wheels of each convoy vehicle is a key factor in convoy mobility enhancement. A vehicle can be immobilized due to inappropriate combination of a power supply to a wheel and its poor tire–terrain properties. This leads to mobility loss of several or all the vehicles of the convoy. To the contrary, power wheel distributions concerted with wheel–terrain conditions improve mobility of a wheel, vehicle and the entire convoy. This article crystallizes the main factors that impact convoy mobility, discusses the factors at a descriptive level of vehicle dynamics control and then results in a convoy on-line mobility estimation and control strategy.  
Keywords: Vehicle convoy mobility; Multi-pass wheel track formation; Wheel power distribution; Military; Unmanned ground vehicles; Control strategy