Mustang Advanced Engineering recently delivered a unique 4×4 vehicle chassis dynamometer to Lawrence Technological University’s Automotive Engineering Institute. The dynamometer features individual wheel torque electronic controls of one, two, three, or all four drive wheels and speed capability of up to 100 mph. Four individual power absorbers provide 175-hp per wheel load capability for continuous operation and up to 350-hp intermittently. Wheelbase adjustment from 89 to 175 inches allows the dynamometer to test a wide range of AWD vehicles.
New Research Opportunies
Vehicle performance, particulary traction, is important and this new dyno allows the researchers at LTU to research optimum vehicle traction performance and vehicle efficiency by experimenting with power distribution to the tire/ground contact patches for each the four wheels. It will be used to develop optimum driveline system hardware to accomplish top vehicle performance; open and limited skip differentials, locking differentials, viscous drive, traction control, and other mechanical and mechatronic driveline systems. Also, research wheel power balance to improve tire design.
With the installation of this dyno LTU researchers can also explore novel driveline arrangements with alternative next generation energy sources for fuel cell, electric, hybrid-electric, hydrogen, and hydraulically powered vehicles. The dynamometer can accomodate 4×4 full/part time and 4×2 vehicle arrangements. Develop optimum logic algorithms and electronic hardware to individually control power distributions to each of all the drive wheels.
Vehicle performance with regards to turnability/ride stabiltiy and acceleration/braking is key in research in the modern day automotive industry. LTU can evaluate vehicle turnability and ride stability on the basis of the lateral forces of each of the four wheels, including acceleration and yaw resisting and assisting moments. Improve ride stability systems and driveline sytems to control vehicle oversteering and understeering. Researchers can also experiment with vehicle timing to test various types of accleration/braking and distance runs and also evaluate the performance of vehicles with different driveline system arrangements.
Durability: Test vehicle driveline durability to improve the design and life of the hardware. Testing can include all powertrain components and can apply manually controlled loads and simulate proving ground test cycle loads.
Diagnostic Testing: Study total vehicle systems to diagnose system; subsystem; and compenents-level hardware issues and verify corrective actions for effectiveness.
NVH Development: Conduct experimental studies for all noise and vibration concerns on vehicle driveline systems with structure borne noise.
Fuel Economy Improvement: Improve vehicle energy efficiency and fuel economy by developing driveline systems based on optimum power flow distributions to each of the four drive wheels.