This paper is concerned about a comparative study on the dynamic analysis of tracked vehicles on soft soil. Two different methods for dynamic analysis of tracked vehicles are compared: single-body dynamic analysis and multi-body dynamic analysis. A tracked vehicle is modeled in two different kinds: As single-body model and as multibody model. Advantages and disadvantages of the two analysis methods are investigated with regard to computational efficiency and solution accuracy.
Use of computer simulation is spreading rapidly for various engineering design problems. Dynamic analyses of tracked vehicles for application on soft soil are found in Hayasi(1975), Kitano and Tyorzaki(1976), Kitano and Kuma(1977), Baladi and Rohani(1978), Bode(1991), Murakami et al. (1992), Zhang(1995), Thai and Muro(1999), and Hong et al.(2002), etc. Dynamic analyses of multi-body model are used much in other research fields. An efficient dynamic analysis method of multi-body vehicle models based on recursive formulation was proposed by Bae etal.(1999). Ryu et al.(2002) developed an efficient method on multibody dynamic simulation of high speed tracked vehicles. Because each element of mechanical systems is designed in detail in multi-body model, analyses of multi-body model can be used effectively to determine detailed design parameters of a mechanical system. However, because of the large size of the degree of freedoms of multi-body model, i.e. the large size of system equations, an extremely long computational time is required for numerical analysis. Real time simulation can be applied for development of control algorithms of mechanical systems as well. In this special application, a single-body model of a tracked vehicle can be applied for the development of the dynamic simulation of a complete integrated mining operation system. However the analysis of a single-body model is not applicable for the evaluation of detail design specification of a vehicle prototype.