Arat, M., Taheri, S., and Holweg, E., "Road Profile Estimation for Active Suspension Applications," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 8(2):492-500, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0651.
The road profile has been shown to have significant effects on various vehicle conditions including ride, handling, fatigue or even energy efficiency; as a result it has become a variable of interest in the design and control of numerous vehicle parts. In this study, an integrated state estimation algorithm is proposed that can provide continuous information on road elevation and profile variations, primarily to be used in active suspension controls. A novel tire instrumentation technology (smart tire) is adopted together with a sensor couple of wheel attached accelerometer and suspension deflection sensor as observer inputs. The algorithm utilizes an adaptive Kalman filter (AKF) structure that provides the sprung and unsprung mass displacements to a sliding-mode differentiator, which then yields to the estimation of road elevations and the corresponding road profile along with the quarter car states. The proposed method is tested through numerical analysis under MATLAB/Simulink environment using a multi-body vehicle model from CarSim software and road profile samples from the Federal Highway Administration's Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) database.