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Calibration of an expeditious terramechanics model using a higher-fidelity model, Bayesian inference, and a virtual bevameter test
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  • Dan Negrut,
  • Wei Hu,
  • Pei Li,
  • Huzaifa Mustafa Unjhawala,
  • Radu Serban
Dan Negrut
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Wei Hu
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Pei Li
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Huzaifa Mustafa Unjhawala
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Radu Serban
University of Wisconsin-Madison
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The soil contact model (SCM) is widely used in practice for off-road wheeled vehicle mobility studies when simulation speed is important and highly accurate results are not a main concern. In practice, the SCM parameters are obtained via a bevameter test, which requires a complex apparatus and experimental procedure. Here, we advance the idea of running a virtual bevameter test using a high-fidelity terramechanics simulation. The latter employs the “continuous representation model” (CRM), which regards the deformable terrain as an elasto-plastic continuum that is spatially discretized using the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method. The approach embraced is as follows: a virtual bevameter test is run in simulation using CRM terrain to generate “ground truth” data; in a Bayesian framework, this data is subsequently used to calibrate the SCM terrain. We show that (i) the resulting SCM terrain, while leading to fast terramechanics simulations, serves as a good proxy for the more complex CRM terrain; and (ii) the SCM-over-CRM simulation speedup is roughly one order of magnitude. These conclusions are reached in conjunction with two tests: a single wheel test, and a full rover simulation. The SCM and CRM simulations are run in an open-source software called Chrono. The calibration is performed using PyMC, which is a Python package that interactively communicates with Chrono to calibrate SCM. The models and scripts used in this contribution are available as open source for unfettered use and distribution in a public repository.
12 Jan 2023Submitted to Journal of Field Robotics
12 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
12 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
30 Jan 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Mar 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
15 May 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
22 May 20231st Revision Received
24 May 2023Submission Checks Completed
24 May 2023Assigned to Editor
24 May 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
01 Jul 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
04 Oct 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major
10 Oct 20232nd Revision Received
10 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
10 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
10 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Accept