Monday, December 8, 2008

Simulating a Real Car

It was a nice quiet day at work when suddenly a bang bang sound attracted my attention. Looking for the source of sound I found our newly developed Active Suspension System oscillating at a very high frequency.

This device is recently designed by our engineers to model a quarter-car used to simulate and analyze vertical motions of a real vehicle. By quarter-car I mean a modeled vehicle body mounted with a suspension on a modeled tire which is in contact with a road simulator. Any type of vertical displacements for the road can be simulated with this device. At the time, the road was commanded to be oscillating so fast that the modeled passengers were jumping on the air and bouncing back on the vehicle body just like a real vehicle getting onto undulations and bumps of the road in a fast speed. I was surprised that this system can simulate a real car at such high-frequency oscillations without being damaged. Moreover, what is super interesting for me is that this device is equipped with a fast-response motor in parallel to its suspension system to simulate what experts call Active Suspension System.

An Active Suspension System is referred to a programmable vehicle suspension mechanism that can continuously adapt the vehicle body and tire response to varying road conditions. This should be compared to a passive suspension system that always has the same predictable response to different road conditions - check this video to see the difference between the active and passive suspension systems in real cars. Active Suspension can be exploited to control the vehicle body motion and provide a comfortable ride for the passengers. It can also be used to control the tires compression and vehicle height and provide the driver with better maneuver capabilities.

Since it matches its nominal mathematical model over a wide frequency range our Active Suspension Plant along with QuaRC, our real-time operating system is a perfect experimental device for both educational and industrial research.”

- Amin-

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