Terrain topology is the principal source of vertical excitation to the vehicle system and must be accurately represented in order to correctly predict the vehicle response. It is desirable to evaluate vehicle and tire models over a wide range of terrain types, but it is computationally impractical to simulate long distances of every terrain variation. This work seeks to study the terrain surface, rather than the terrain profile, to maximize the information available to the tire model (i.e., wheel path data), yet represent it in a compact form. A method to decompose the terrain surface as a combination of deterministic and stochastic components is presented. If some, or all, of the components of the terrain surface are considered to be stochastic, then the sequence can be modeled as a stochastic process. These stochastic representations of terrain surfaces can then be implemented in tire and vehicle models to predict chassis loads.

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