Wheels over Track Optimization for Future Combat System (FCS) Application
Small Business Information
GS ENGINEERING, INC.
22015 Coal Dock Rd., Hancock, MI, 49930
AbstractThe focus of all future Army requirements is a faster, lighter and more agile force. Wheeled vehicles will be prominent in this vision as evidenced by the award of the IAV medium brigade to the GM/GDLS 8X8 wheeled Stryker vehicle. The Boeing Company isinvestigating similar wheeled vehicle designs for the ground vehicle variant of their LSI contract. Wheeled vehicles have many positive attributes compared to dedicated track vehicles, but they are limited by mobility in certain soft soil or snowconditions.One solution to solve this problem is to provide an optional band track system to be placed over the wheels when extra mobility is required. Wheeled construction and forestry equipment routinely install band track when lower ground pressure is requiredfor the job. There are two problems with simply installing these track systems on military vehicles such as the Stryker or LAV. First, the vehicle's suspension is reduced, limiting the vehicle to slower speeds. Secondly, there will be a retentionproblem at high speeds and cornering. Commercial applications would also be enhanced by solving these problems.During Phase I, GSE will develop computer algorithms to interface with commercial vehicle simulation programs such as RecurDyn for coupling the wheel suspension, band track, and an active tensioner. This module will allow detailed design, analysis andoptimization of a complete band track over wheels system. Therefore, this computer module will provide simulation tools for both military and commercial applications. Mobility experts at Michigan Technological University's Keweenaw Research Center willbe subcontracted to support this program. This program combines the best of both worlds - an advanced agile engineering firm and University experts to make an unbeatable team. The versatility of a high speed optional track system to be placed over wheeled vehicles for enhanced mobility in rough terrains is a tremendous advantage for commercial and military applications. This application is directly applicable to groundvehicles for FCS, but also supports the Stryker, LAV, MTVR, and FMTV programs. All of these wheeled vehicles support an agile airlift campaign, but decreased weight and a reduced logistical footprint are desired. By adding the capability of optionaltracks over wheels, all these vehicles can perform additional duties that were previously relegated to dedicated tracked vehicles.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.