Modeling the Obstacle Performance of Cable-Towed Vehicles


  • Chengxian Gao University of California, Davis, U.S.A.
  • Bruce Hartsough University of California, Davis, U.S.A.
  • John A. Miles University of California, Davis, U.S.A.
  • Andrew A. Frank University of California, Davis, U.S.A.


The forces required to pull wheeled vehicles over idealized terrain obstacles were studied. Scale models and computer simulations were used to evaluate the peak forces for single-axle vehicles equipped with rigid wheels and pneumatic tires. A scale model of a rimless spoke wheel was also tested. The results from the rigid wheel and pneumatic-tired simulations approximated those for the scale models. The rimless spoke wheel model required relatively high towing forces. The computer results indicated that towing forces could be reduced by a factor of three in some situations by using low pressure tires instead of rigid wheels. Even with low pressure tires, it is not possible to pull vehicles over obstacles larger than approximately 1 / 5 of the wheel diameter, if towing forces are not to exceed the vehicle weight.






Technical Papers