This paper examines an optimal preview semiactive suspension of a quarter-coach model moving along randomly profiled track. This optimal computer-controlled suspension is designed only to dissipate energy, and is able to use knowledge of track irregularities over a distance L in front of the train. Thus the deformation of the track can be taken into account when calculating the semi-active suspension control law. First, the expression of the optimal preview semiactive control law is established. Then, using a two-degrees-of-freedom quarter-coach model, preview information is shown to improve the behavior of an optimal non-preview semi-active system, which can come close to the performance of an active system.

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