Track-terrain modelling and traversability prediction for tracked vehicles on soft terrain

Said Al-Milli, Lakmal D. Seneviratne, Kaspar Althoefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Skid-steered tracked vehicles are the favoured platform for unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) in poor terrain conditions. However, the concept of skid-steering relies largely on track slippage to allow the vehicle to conduct turning manoeuvres potentially leading to overly high slip and immobility. It is therefore important to predict such vulnerable vehicle states in order to prevent their occurrence and thus paving the way for improved autonomy of tracked vehicles. This paper presents an analytical approach to track-terrain modelling and a novel traversability prediction simulator for tracked vehicles conducting steady-state turning manoeuvres on soft terrain. Traversability is identified by predicting the resultant track forces acting on the track-terrain interface and the adopted models are modified to provide an analytical generalised solution. The validity of the simulator has been verified by comparison with available data in the literature and through an in-house experimental study. The developed simulator can be employed as a traversability predictor and also as a design tool to test the performance of tracked vehicles with different vehicle geometries operating on a wide range of soil properties.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Terramechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • deformable terrains
  • Skid-steering
  • Track-terrain interaction modelling
  • Tracked vehicles


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