Latest Papers

ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics

    Design and Analysis of a Lunar Crewed Vehicle With a Novel Versatile Compliant Suspension Mechanism

    Abstract

    A lunar crewed vehicle (LCV) with improved maneuverability, mobility, and ride comfort is required for astronauts to conduct long-range scientific investigations and resource utilization on the Moon’s surface. This paper concentrates on designing a novel multi-functional compliant suspension for LCV to improve the above-mentioned performance. First, based on the requirement of high-speed traversing on the rough Lunar terrain, the required type of suspension motion is identified and the demanded suspension mechanism is obtained through structural evolution. Then, the kinematic analysis of the proposed suspension mechanism is conducted, and the steering kinematic model of the whole vehicle is established. A compliance analysis is completed, taking into account the actual design characteristics of the suspension mechanism. A multi-degrees-of-freedom dynamics model of the vehicle is developed, considering both wheel–ground separation and the deformation of wheels and soil. Simulations are conducted to verify full vehicle performance with the proposed suspension, and the results reveal that the design features better mobility and comfort in rough terrain with minimum turning radius, peak longitudinal acceleration, and root mean square reduced by 9.5%, 45.1%, and 21.4%, respectively.

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