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Vehicle Controls & Behaviors

Annual Plan

Self-Powered Wireless Sensing Platform for Vehicle Attitude Control

Project Summary

Principal Investigator

  • Nizar Lajnef, Michigan State University


  • Mahmood Haq, Satish Udpa, Michigan State University


  • Grace Clark, Mahdi Masmoudi, James Morrison, James Roulo, Michigan State University


  • Jill Goryca, US Army GVSC

Project began Q4 2022.

Autonomous vehicles can achieve accurate localization and real-time road information perception using sensors such as global navigation satellite systems (GNSSs), light detection and ranging (LiDAR), and inertial measurement units (IMUs). However, little attention has been paid to the effects of road profile information, which become very significant for vehicles driving on uneven terrain. Most vehicles experience violent vibrations when driving on rough terrain, this reduces the accuracy and stability of data obtained by LiDAR and IMUs. Thus, there a need for effective control and active suspension system in order to maintain stability on uneven roads, which will further guarantee other sensors accuracy.

This project focuses on the development and testing of a novel self-powered sensor system network that will be: (1) installed on the suspension to provide a direct measurement of deformation and acceleration at different nodes in the vehicle; and (2) attached to the inside wall of the tires for a direct measurement of the tire forces and deflection profile.

This projects seeks to realize two objectives and answer four basic fundamental questions (a,b,c,d). Both the identified objectives and questions bring new insights into modernizing existing Autonomous Ground Vehicles (AGVs) as well as improving the development of future AGVs. All objectives will explore the limits of using novel sensor technologies to support effective attitude control and delivering new knowledge on both sensor development and system data integration.

Objective 1: Exploring the feasibility and testing the integration novel piezoelectric self-powered sensors onto active suspension systems in commonly used army AGVs to harvest vibration- based energy and relay in real-time relevant deformation and acceleration data. In this objective, the following questions will be answered: a. How much vibration-based energy can be harvested? How much of the harvested energy can be converted into a useful form of electrical energy? b. What are the fundamental limits of the self-powered sensor technology, in term of data volume and sampling rates, for real time control applications? c. What are the fundamental limits of wireless data transfer protocols in the considered real time control application?

Objective 2: Exploring the development and placement of novel piezoelectric self-powered sensors to monitor the vehicle dynamics. a. What are the optimal designs for piezoelectric sensors and their locations?