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Preview Sensing Suspension


TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Electronics 

OBJECTIVE: The goal of this SBIR is to reinvestigate the feasibility of preview sensing suspension by leveraging private industry autonomous preview sensing technology and modifying it for an off-road military application. 

DESCRIPTION: Preview Sensing Suspension technology was originally investigated through the SBIR process in 1997. A Phase 1 and Phase 2 SBIR titled “Active Suspension Using Preview Information and Model Predictive Control” was awarded to Scientific Systems Company, Inc. At the conclusion of Phase 2 it was determined that the concept would have to wait until a future date when technological advancements could achieve the maturity required to successfully execute this concept. The technological shortfalls included radar and sensor technology and processing speed. The radar technology was difficult to calibrate for the needed resolution and range. The sensors that met the required high frequency range generated so much noise that the data was inundated and almost unusable. Once significant effort was put into refining the data limitations it was then determined that the processing speed wasn’t fast enough to receive, process, and respond before the vehicle reached the identified terrain. A significant lesson learned during the original investigation was that a Kalman Filter, linear quadratic estimation, was not able to isolate the dynamic motion of the vehicle when processing the terrain data acquired by the radar and sensors. Any future work would require control algorithm development that includes significant understanding of vehicle dynamics. 

PHASE I: Conduct a feasibility study to determine if technology has reached a maturity that addresses the challenges that were identified during the initial investigation. The study should address the technological improvements and how they will be utilized throughout the project. The study should also define what the physical design may be, conduct mobility analysis’s to determine any positive or negative mobility of incorporating a system, and determine the scalability of a system to be included onto larger tracked or wheeled vehicles. 

PHASE II: The focus of phase II will be more on the physical design, implementation, and testing of the preview sensing suspension. A prototype system shall be constructed and installed in a vehicle to conduct physical testing and analysis to prove the validity of the technology. 

PHASE III: This SBIR will focus on the further development of the preview sensing system for military application and the integration and production of the system at low rate manufacturing levels for military vehicles and potentially carrying over to the commercial sector. 







Andrea Wray 

(586) 282-6376 

Jason Alef 

(586) 282-6376 

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