Flexible-wheel (FW) suspension concept has been regarded to be one of the novel technologies for future planetary surface vehicles (PSVs). This study develops generalised models for fundamental stiffness and damping properties and power consumption characteristics of the FW suspension with and without considering wheel-hub dimensions. Compliance rolling resistance (CRR) coefficient is also defined and derived for the FW suspension. Based on the generalised models and two dimensionless measures, suspension properties are analysed for two FW suspension configurations. The sensitivity analysis is performed to investigate the effects of the design parameters and operating conditions on the CRR and power consumption characteristic of the FW suspension. The modelling generalisation permits analyses of fundamental properties and power consumption characteristics of different FW suspension designs in a uniform and very convenient manner, which would serve as a theoretical foundation for the design of FW suspensions for future PSVs.
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Vehicle System Dynamics, 49 (8), 2011, © Informa Plc