Operational criteria for battlefield vehicles
Modern military ground vehicles are no longer able to respond effectively to the rapidly changing mission requirements of modern military conflicts. Military vehicle architectures, which utilize passive suspension components and traditional drivetrain/steering systems, do not provide the operational flexibility to meet the demands of the operator. Advances in intelligent actuation technology allow for the development of a new vehicle architecture - the Intelligent Corner Vehicle (ICV). The ICV utilizes intelligent actuator technology to actively control the four degrees of freedom of each wheel of the vehicle - drive, camber, steering, and suspension. The utilization of intelligent actuation requires the characterization of the motions and behavior of the tire and the vehicle chassis in order to effectively apply the tire to the road surface - the development of vehicle performance criteria. A brief review of the state of wheeled military systems is presented. Many modern military vehicles were designed to improve protection at the expense of mobility - a process that has had negative effects on vehicle capability. An overview of the pneumatic tire used for wheeled vehicles is presented, highlighting the nonlinearities of tire behavior. The complexity of tire force generation drives the need for the application of intelligent actuation. Traditional actuation of wheel motion is presented along with a variety of current efforts to apply intelligent actuation to individual degrees of freedom of the tire. These efforts can be shown to improve vehicle performance, but intelligent actuation must be applied to all aspects of tire motion, requiring the use of the ICV architecture and the generation of performance criteria by which the complex motion of the vehicle may be evaluated. The Robotics Research Group has a history of developing and evaluating performance criteria for complex dynamic systems. and review of performance criteria developed for serial chain robotics is presented. These criteria address task independent actuator motion in addition to actuator ranges and limits, and their application to the ICV is discussed. A brief overview of several important concepts of classical vehicle dynamics are presented. The application of criteria derived from these concepts to the ICV architecture is discussed. This report presents the complexities of tire behavior and vehicle motion, the need for alternative architectures (the ICV), and a variety of performance criteria required to evaluate vehicle motion in real time. Criteria that are presented are summarized along with their definition and physical meaning. Future work for the development of the ICV involves the generation of a vehicle model for evaluating the application and range values of the presented criteria.