The State of Electromechanical Active Suspension Technology
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The current initiative to develop an all electric combat vehicle coupled with the simultaneous mobility enhancements being demonstrated with the incorporation of an active or semiactive suspension system has led the U.S. Army to investigate the feasibility of developing an electromechanical active suspension system (EASS). The EASS would utilize electromechanical (EM) actuators to replace the hydraulic actuators of more conventional hydraulic active suspension system designs. The EM actuators would provide the active suspension directed torques or forces required between the roadwheels (or tires) and the vehicle hull (or chassis). This paper describes a U.S. Army sponsored thrust to develop and test EM actuators appropriate for application in active suspension systems. The benefits and limitations of EASSs will be discussed and laboratory test results for one such EM actuator, sized for a main battle tank application, will be presented. Also included will be a brief review of a similar development effort for an electrorheological damper intended for possible integration into a semiactive suspension system.