All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Vladimir V Vantsevich

Advisory Committee Members

Gregory R Hudas

David L Littlefield

James L Overholt

Murat M Tanik

Thomas R Way

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Engineering

Abstract

The implementation of the autonomy-enabled technologies to improve soldier safety and battlefield distribution for the Ground Distribution fleet, by using semi-autonomous leader and follower capabilities, has begun. The need for tactical and operational mobility and agility is a key element in this process. Their success significantly depends on mobility of the convoy vehicles in terrain and road conditions. Although, existing methods have successfully improved vehicle mobility, those methods have exhausted their potential. There is a need for a new technological paradigm that would lead to a breakthrough in vehicle and convoy mobility research and engineering. Mobility strongly depends on the distribution of power between the drive wheels of multi-wheel vehicles. Non-efficient wheel power split can immobilize a convoy vehicle when tire gripping conditions change due to change of physical properties of local terrain when the convoy vehicles move in the same track as the previously driven vehicles. During curvilinear motion, mobility can be lost due to an increased tire side-slip causing side skid of a vehicle and potentially leading to rollover, all of which can result from inappropriate wheel power distribution. An immobilized vehicle leads to mobility loss of several or all vehicles in a convoy. This goal of this dissertation is to propose a new technological paradigm that would significantly enhance leader/follower mobility capabilities, and develop fundamentals of online agile mobility estimation. These fundamentals would be based on each wheel's contribution to vehicle and convoy mobility, agile tire slippage dynamics, convoy mobility observation and control strategies in stochastic terrain conditions. A mobility estimation methodology was developed to include each wheel contribution. Fundamentals of agile tire slippage dynamics were originated to enable on-line mobility estimation, and establish sensor-related parameters/signals between the stochastic tire-terrain interactions and wheel power distributions. These parameters enabled analytical fundamentals for the development of a new wheel rotational kinematics sensor that would enable agile tire slippage control. The developed mobility estimation methodology, the fundamentals of agile tire slippage dynamics and the sensing of advanced capabilities, culminated in real-time terrain mobility observation and control strategies that were formalized into algorithms for enhancing unmanned ground vehicle convoy mobility.

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