A Comparison of the Mobile Detection Assessment Reconnaissance System(MDARS) and Experimental Unmanned Vehicle (XUV) Robotic Vehicle Models

Report No. ARL-TR-2524
Authors: Peter J. Fazio
Date/Pages: September 2001; 38 pages
Abstract: During fiscal years 1997 and 1998, the Weapons Analysis Branch, Ballistics and Weapons Concepts Division, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, built an engineering-level model of the unmanned ground vehicle platform used in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Demo III robotics program. The computer model was a representation of the mobile detection assessment reconnaissance system (MDARS) chassis-suspension system. The model was developed within the structure of the combat vehicle engineering simulation (CVES). This effort was undertaken to develop a simulation tool to evaluate the 'ride quality' of small robotic vehicle platforms during off-road travel. 'Ride quality' is defined as the ability of the vehicle's suspension to attenuate shock and vibration between the terrain surface and the vehicle chassis. An ensuing effort was undertaken to develop a computer model of the second generation Demo III robotic vehicle, the experimental unmanned vehicle (XUV). This model was developed with engineering parameters and data provided by the vehicle's manufacturer within the structure of CVES. A simulated ride quality comparison study was performed on the MIDARS and XUV chassis-suspension models. The two models were exercised over three different types of simulated terrain and five different speeds. The terrain types were digital representations of the Aberdeen Test Center 2-inch washboard course and 3-inch bump course and the Waterways Experimental Station (Vicksburg, Mississippi) T101 course. The data used for the comparisons were chassis pitch rates and vertical accelerations. The results showed that the XUV model provided substantial reductions in pitch rate and vertical acceleration amplitudes when compared to the MDARS model over most terrain types at all speeds.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2001