Title: Evaluation of the effects of design features on tracked vehicle mobility using an advanced computer simulation model

Authors: J.Y. Wong, Wei Huang

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6, Canada. ' Vehicle Systems Development Corporation, 49 Fifeshire Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario K2E 7J7, Canada

Abstract: On soft terrain, such as deep snow, track sinkage often exceeds vehicle ground clearance and the vehicle belly comes into contact with the terrain surface. This paper describes the results of a detailed investigation into the effects of design features, particularly the combined effects of initial track tension (i.e., the tension in the track system when the vehicle is stationary on a level, hard surface) and vehicle belly attitude (nose-up or nose-down), on soft ground mobility of tracked vehicles. The investigation was carried out using the latest version of an advanced computer simulation model, known as NTVPM, developed under the auspices of Vehicle Systems Development Corporation. The results show that the initial track tension has a significant effect on soft ground mobility, particularly when track sinkage is greater than vehicle ground clearance. When the vehicle belly is in contact with terrain surface, its attitude also has a notable effect on vehicle performance at low initial track tensions. However, its effect on mobility decreases with the increase in initial track tension. It is demonstrated that NTVPM is a useful and effective tool for design and performance evaluation of tracked vehicles from a traction perspective.

Keywords: tracked vehicles; vehicle mobility; tractive performance; design features; simulation; initial track tension; vehicle belly attitude; soft ground mobility; heavy vehicles; track sinkage; vehicle ground clearance; vehicle performance; vehicle design; vehicle-terrain interaction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.2005.008304

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 2005 Vol.12 No.4, pp.344 - 365

Published online: 30 Nov 2005 *

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