Understanding the Effects of a Discrete Element Soil MODEL'S Parameters on Ground Vehicle Mobility

[+] Author and Article Information
Tamer Wasfy

Advanced Science and Automation Corp., Indianapolis, IN, USA

Dave Mechergui

U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC), Warren, MI, USA

Paramsothy Jayakumar

U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC), Warren, MI, USA

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043084 History: Received February 02, 2018; Revised March 04, 2019


The Army's mission is to develop, integrate, and sustain the right technology solution for all ground vehicles, and mobility is a key requirement. Mobility focuses on ground vehicles' capabilities that enable them to be deployable worldwide, and operationally mobile in all environments. In order for military ground vehicles to operate in any combat zone, mobility on off-road terrains should be extensively investigated. But this is poorly understood because of the empirical methods used in predicting mobility. These methods do not capture the soil deformation as well as its non-linear behavior. The discrete element method (DEM) in which soil is modeled was identified as a high-fidelity method that can capture the deformation of the soil and its non-linear behavior. In this paper, a simulation study is undertaken to understand the influence of soil characteristics on mobility metrices such as wheel sinkage, wheel slip, vehicle speed, and tractive force. This study also helps understand the interaction of the vehicle wheels with soft soil. A nominal wheeled vehicle model was built and simulated over different cohesive and non-cohesive soils modeled using DEM. Some important characteristics of these soils were varied namely cohesion, friction, particle size, and particle density. The simulation results show a good correlation between the soil characteristics and the mobility metrics that the vehicle speed increases with cohesion, friction, soil density, and particle size while wheel sinkage and wheel slip decreases.

Section 4: U.S. Gov Employees + Reg Authors
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