Active bogies and chassis levelling for a vehicle operating in rough terrain
Pijuan Cases, Jordi
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Four axle vehicles with bogies can adapt the position of the wheels to follow irregularities in the terrain, having an obstacle surpassing ability far greater than conventional 2-axle vehicles. Still, the ability to overcome discrete obstacles on a steep slope is very different depending on the wheel
that is facing the obstacle. A possible solution to diminish this variation can be found if the vehicle is able to actively redistribute the load on each wheel. One strategy is to design the suspension mechanism so it can regulate its height, being able to level the chassis. Also, an active torque on the pin join between the bogie and the chassis can be applied with the same goal, adopting a system of active bogies. Both solutions have been parametrically studied in a bi-dimensional multibody model of a 4-axle vehicle with double bogies. The results show an improvement independent of obstacle position and terrain angle when using active bogies. With height regulation, this improvement is limited to the rear bogie wheels, but the obstacle surmounting capacity of the vehicle as a whole can be considerably increased if the optimal regulation point is found. Possible applications for such enhanced vehicles with bogies are performing different tasks in forest areas with obstacles on steep slopes or unstructured terrain exploration.