Analysis of Vehicle Dynamics and Control of Occupant Biodynamics using a Novel Multi-Occupant Vehicle Model
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Due to the detrimental effects of ride vibrations on occupants and increasing safety concerns, improvement in vehicle dynamic characteristics has become a key focus of researchers. Typically, ride and handling problems have been dealt with independently. There is a dearth of vehicle models capable of capturing occupant biodynamics and its implication on vehicle ride and handling. Also in general, the objective of conventional control systems has been to attenuate vertical dynamic response of the sprung mass of a vehicle. Feedback control based algorithms are predominantly used in active/semi-active suspensions that ignore the biodynamics of occupants. In the current work, a new 50 degree-of-freedom (DOF) combined nonlinear multi-occupant vehicle model is developed using the lumped parameter modelling (LPM) approach. The current model provides a platform for performing a combined study of ride, handling and occupant biodynamics. The model is capable of simulating the combined effect of sitting occupancies, road inputs and driving maneuvers on biodynamic responses. It is analyzed using MATLAB/SIMULINK functionalities and validated by independently correlating the computed responses with existing experimental results. A study is performed on ride behavior of a vehicle-occupant system under two different transient road inputs. In addition, the effect of road roughness on vehicle ride is also studied. Random road profiles are generated from road roughness spectrum given in the ISO 8608:1995 manual. Insights are developed into the ride dynamics of a vehicle traversing over roads of classes A, B, C and D at given test velocities. The effect of sitting occupancies and vehicle velocities on lateral dynamics is also studied. Results underscore the need for considering sitting occupancies while analyzing vehicle dynamics and also highlight the potential of the current model. Furthermore, a Moore-Penrose Pseudoinverse based feed-forward controller is developed and implemented in an independently acting semi-active seat suspension system. Feasibility of feed-forward control in primary suspensions is also investigated. Finally, issues of stability, performance and limitation of the controller are discussed.
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