Constant Force Suspension
There are several drawbacks to a traditional, passive suspension system. First, the system cannot eliminate the transmission of ground irregularities to the passenger. Second, ground disturbances are magnified by the suspension system, resulting in large disturbances to the passenger. Further, choosing spring and damper constants for optimum low-frequency ride quality results in poorer high-frequency ride quality. Additionally, choosing the best compromise set of constants for vehicle ride quality results in reduced vehicle maneuverability (i.e., poor vehicle handling).
Invention Description The invention is a method and an apparatus for creating Constant Force and Near Constant Force suspension systems (CFS and NCFS) and methods which allow for simplified control strategies for these systems. The invention involves control of the vehicle body such that the vehicle body does not vertically move and remains unaffected by the wheel's motion. Additionally, the system may be supplemented by mechanical passive springs to reduce energy consumption. When supplemental mechanical springs are used, a variable vertical force is applied to the vehicle body; this invention includes the concept of varying actuator force output to cancel the spring force fluctuations, in order to maintain a constant vertical force on the vehicle body.
Allows for smooth rides over rough terrain without the requirement to look ahead.
Near Constant Force Suspension allows simplified control strategies for vehicle suspension systems.
Market Potential/Applications Vehicle suspension systems; specifically, large vehicles such as busses, ambulances, tractor-trailer rigs, earth moving equipment, and other vehicles for which a smooth ride is desired.
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