Research Focus of Technical Dynamics and Vehicle Dynamics
Our Research Unit is studying machines, aggregates, and facilities as well as the system dynamics of ground vehicles; moreover, specific topics of Biomechanics are within the scope of investigations, too. Based on classical methods of Technical Dynamics for the analysis of mechanical systems in general, the Research Unit is also particularly concerned with the incorporation of mechatronic components into these systems. Novel possibilities for influencing their dynamic properties emerge therefrom. For example, mechatronic components can be used for the stabilisation of unstable systems, or the desired performance of a system may be improved by their application.
An example for the above mentioned possibilities are vibrations caused by rotating machine parts, which may be suppressed by active components like magnetic bearings with highly developed control algorithms. An alternative for enhancing the behaviour of rotating machinery are quite novel methods based on the effects of parametric excitation, which by systematic time-varying damping, for instance, may also be used to stabilise a system; this approach can also be applied in modern micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), amongst others.
Vehicle System Dynamics
In the field of Vehicle System Dynamics, the Research Unit does not only perform in-depth basic studies, but it also develops solutions for problems occurring in automotive and railway industry; thereby, advanced multi-body-simulations are used. Topics of the research include both simulation, optimisation and control of vehicle behaviour by mathematical-physical modelling as well as the analysis of the influences of the driver and of the vehicle components (tyres, shock absorbers, hydro-mounts, track/wheel-contact, chassis, etc.). Moreover, interactions of technical and biological systems as they occur, for instance, at bicycles or in intelligent prostheses, are the subject of many investigations.
In this context, the behaviour of bicycles, in particular, is one of the current primary research topics. For example, at higher speeds the so-called wobble phenomenon, an undesired oscillation of the front wheel about the steering axis, may lead to very dangerous situations. This effect can only be fully understood and ways to its suppression shown when both a detailed bicycle model and an advanced algorithm are used to consider the driver‘s behaviour.
Numerous cooperations with institutions in the area of biomedical engineering and with international companies (e.g., manufacturers of passenger cars and trucks, railway vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles, airplanes) result from the Research Unit‘s expertise in the fields mentioned above.