Instrumenting an All-Terrain Vehicle for Off-Road Mobility Analysis
ENGINEERING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB
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With small mobile vehicles, even robots, becoming increasingly important for military operations, Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory CRREL researchers set out to instrument an all-terrain vehicle ATV with mobility sensors to obtain and understand small-vehicle mobility data in all seasons. Extensive mobility research has already been performed at CRREL on the CRREL Instrumented Vehicle CIV, which collects mobility data with large and expensive vehicle performance sensors. However, a small vehicle such as an ATV is not suited to carry large data collection instruments. In an effort to overcome cost and size limitations while maintaining functionality, an ATV was instrumented with lowcost sensors to collect mobility data comparable to the CIV. At the U.S. Armys Ethan Allen Firing Range, ATV mobility performance tests, such as coast down and drawbar tests, were performed alongside the CIV for comparison, while cross range test runs were performed to demonstrate the systems capabilities. This paper presents one option for researchers looking to instrument a small-vehicle with mobility performance sensors, describes the testing methodology and results, and offers a comparison to the CIV. Low-cost, portable vehicle mobility instrumentation systems would allow for accurate vehicle simulations and mobility awareness that can be used in situ by the warfighter and lead to further applications of all-terrain vehicles in force protection and border patrol scenarios.
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