Multibody dynamics and the discrete element method (DEM) are integrated into one solver for predicting the mobility characteristics (including the no-go condition, maximum speed, and required engine torque/power) of ground vehicles on rough off-road soft soil (such as mud and snow) terrains. High fidelity multibody dynamics models are used for the various vehicle systems including: suspension system, wheels, steering system, axle, differential, and engine. A penalty technique is used to impose joint and normal contact constraints. An asperity-based friction model is used to model joint and contact friction. A DEM model of the soil with a cohesive soft soil material model is used. The material model can account for the soil compressibility, plasticity, fracture, friction, viscosity, gain in cohesive strength due to compression, and loss in cohesive strength due to tension. The governing equations of motion are solved along with joint/constraint equations using a time-accurate explicit solution procedure. The model can be used to predict the mobility of ground vehicles as a function of soil type, terrain long slope, and terrain side slope. Typical simulations of a Humvee-type vehicle are provided to demonstrate the model.

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