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An investigation of multibody system modelling and\ud control analysis techniques for the development of\ud advanced suspension systems in passenger cars

By Ann Susan Cherry


The subject of this thesis is the investigation of multibody system modelling\ud and control analysis techniques for the development of advanced suspension\ud systems in passenger cars. A review of the application of automatic control to\ud all areas of automotive vehicles illustrated the important factors in such\ud developments, including motivating influences, constraints and methodologies\ud used. A further review of specific applications for advanced suspension systems\ud highlighted a major discrepancy between the significant claims of theoretical\ud performance benefits and the scarcity of successful practical implementations.\ud This discrepancy was the result of idealistic analytical studies producing\ud unrealistic solutions with little regard for practical constraints. The\ud predominant application of prototype testing methods in implementation studies\ud also resulted in reduced potential performance improvements.\ud This work addressed this gap by the application of realistic modelling and\ud control design techniques to practical realistic suspension systems. Multibody\ud system modelling techniques were used to develop vehicle models incorporating\ud realistic representations of the suspension system itself, with the ability to\ud include models of the controllers, and facilitate control analysis tasks. These\ud models were first used to address ride control for fully active suspension\ud systems. Both state space techniques, including linear quadratic regulator and\ud pole placement and frequency domain design methods were applied. For the\ud multivariable frequency domain study, dyadic expansion techniques were used\ud to decouple the system into single input single output systems representing\ud each of the sprung mass modes. Both discretely and continuously variable\ud damping systems were then addressed with a range of control strategies,\ud including analytical solutions based on the active results and heuristic rule-based\ud approaches. The controllers based on active solutions were reduced to\ud satisfy realistic practical limitations of the achievable damping force. The\ud heuristic techniques included standard rule-based controllers using Boolean\ud logic for the discretely variable case, and fuzzy logic controllers for the\ud continuously variable case

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