Cranfield University working on future military vehicle tech
Cranfield University announced on 15 October that it is working on a QineitQ-led three year project to explore innovative solutions for ground vehicle mobility to boost the capabilities of future UK ground forces.
The project is being undertaken with a £3.2 million investment from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and focuses on exploiting the potential provided by electric drive systems and new approaches to suspension, advanced tyre technology, vehicle design and control systems.
Ajay Kumar, teaching fellow in vehicle mobility in the Weapons and Vehicle Systems Group at Cranfield’s Centre for Defence Engineering, and principal investigator for the project, said: ‘This is an exciting project for us to be involved in. Our centre has rich experience in military vehicles and using technological innovation to find practical solutions that make a real difference to the lives of our military, security and civilian personnel.
‘We have reviewed the requirements for future vehicle concepts and worked with partners to generate new ideas for vehicle running gear. The next step will be to evaluate and shortlist the concepts for performance in terms of ride, handling and load limits – there will be a lot of experimental testing to validate the concepts as we move into the prototype phase.’
Simulation tools at Cranfield will be used to evaluate the performance of the different types of vehicle running gear, looking at what the improvements in mobility will be and how to reduce associated risks. Emphasis is also being placed on how the new technologies will integrate with current systems and terramechanics (surface and wheeled/tracked vehicle interaction) facilities at Cranfield will be used to study how the vehicle concepts perform on different surfaces.
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