The National Soil Resources Institute (NSRI), part of the
Backed by Land Rover, Claas, Case New Holland (CNH) and Deutz, the ORD facility is based around four unique pieces of equipment developed at Cranfield.
They include a “whole vehicle” controlled moisture soil lane – the first in the
The facility also includes a mobile single wheel test apparatus capable of the precise control of wheel torque, vertical load and wheel speed in a wide range of off-road and on-road test environments
This equipment, together with related infrastructure, enables the study of off-road vehicle dynamics and soil dynamics, the effect of vehicular movement on the environment and the soil mechanisms associated with soil engaging machinery such as the measurement of tyre performance off-road.
‘Simulating extreme off-road environments will help to evaluate any machine that interacts with soil, from rally cars and agricultural machines, to tillage trains and aircraft tyres,’ explained Professor Dick Godwin, Head of the Engineering Group, NSRI. ‘The lab is designed to help industry build vehicles and equipment that optimise their performance.’
The Off-Road Dynamics Facility’s designer and project manager, Dr James Brighton, commented: ‘Our long-term research aim is to create a precise simulation or indeed a virtual environment for the evaluation of any machine or vehicle configuration in a controlled manner. This will improve the accuracy, repeatability and cost-effectiveness of tyre and vehicle dynamics research for off-road vehicles and equipment.’