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High Capability Off-Road Active Suspension System


OBJECTIVE: A high capability active suspension that maximizes soft soil mobility and mitigates road breakaway rollovers on 10-37 ton wheeled vehicles. i.e. Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles. DESCRIPTION: The Army is looking for opportunities to enhance soft soil (mud and sand) mobility and reduce vehicle rollovers caused by road breakaways using advanced suspension technologies. The suspension technology would be designed and developed for use on JLTV and MRAP vehicle platforms with the intent of maximizing the vehicles soft soil performance and reducing the severity of road break away rollovers. There has been significant work in the past on advanced suspension technologies that improve ride and handling stability of various vehicles, but no work in the area of suspension control algorithms that can walk a vehicle out of an immobilized condition in soft soil or prevent a rollover when the road breaks away under a heavy vehicle. These are the two largest mobility issues for MRAPs and have a high likelihood to be an issue for JLTV especially since it is intended to operate in much softer soils than MRAP. This suspension system will require the ability to rapidly respond to unexpected events, and control the vehicle"s movement throughout its entire suspension"s travel range. Control algorithms will need to be developed that can detect a rollover event and properly mitigate it while at speeds of up to 65 mph without causing a loss of control of the vehicle. Additionally, control algorithms will need to be developed to determine when a vehicle is stuck in mud or sand, and generate enough load transfer, from side to side, to get the vehicle unstuck. The Army is looking for innovative ideas in the area related to mobility, and more specifically suspension systems, to improve Soldier performance in the field when they encounter unexpected mission or life threatening events. The final product of this effort would be to build and test a prototype system to determine and demonstrate the systems ultimate level of capability. PHASE I: In phase I, the Contractor would propose a technological solution that would enhance soft soil (mud and sand) mobility and reduce vehicle rollovers caused by road breakaways using an advanced suspension technology, develop a model that demonstrates the functionality and performance improvements that can be expected with the technology, and then write a final report that summarizes the effort and the expected benefits should the system be built and developed for the MRAP Family of Vehicles or the JLTV. The report will include a summary of the data generated, the benefits of the system, the concerns related to integration onto the vehicle, an estimate of the expected durability of the proposed system, and any commercial applications of the system. PHASE II: In Phase II, the Contractor would generate detailed designs of the parts modeled in Phase I. The contractor would fabricate the parts and install them in an MRAP or JLTV. Once the parts are installed the contractor would conduct a proof of principle (PoP) test to demonstrate the performance improvements. Finally the contractor would write a technical report detailing the results of the test, the potential of manufacturability of the components, and the cost of the integration and parts should the system go into production. PHASE III: In Phase III, the Contractor shall develop detailed manufacturing and instillation plans for use on the MRAP All Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV), the MaxxPro Plus, and the JLTV vehicle (still to be determined). The Contractor shall also determine the potential use of this product on agricultural and mining vehicles.
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