Experimental rollover tests have been criticized for their poor emulation of actual rollovers and for their lack of repeatability. We have designed and built a test fixture that overcomes both of these criticisms. The fixture holds a passenger compartment, weighted to match the inertia characteristics of a complete vehicle, or a complete vehicle at the appropriate pitch and yaw. The compartment is then rotated about its principal (longitudinal) axis through an arc that mimics the rolling motion of an entire vehicle. At the appropriate roll angle and falling velocity, the roof strikes a moving patch of concrete. The compartment is controlled throughout the sequence and is suspended after the impact, so that a sequence of impacts can be individually studied in separate tests. Initial tests have shown that we can achieve repeatable impacts. Test variables include pitch, yaw, roll rate and vehicle center of gravity motion (both lateral and vertical velocity). This test device addresses the various shortcomings of previous rollover tests, fixtures and the various static and drop tests of vehicles conducted to determine rollover performance.

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