Mapping rollercoaster forces using acceleration and GNSS data

Montgomery, Zachary (2020) Mapping rollercoaster forces using acceleration and GNSS data. [USQ Project]

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Acceleration testing has been an integral part of amusement device safety for years. It is often included during the commissioning and design verification of new rides and as a preventative maintenance tool throughout their operating life cycle. However, there are limitations to current testing methods as the acceleration forces are measured and displayed as a function of time and have no direct connection with the fixed track upon which they are enacting.

This study has endeavored to correlate three-dimensional displacement with tri-axial acceleration data. The desired outcome was to produce a ‘force map’ of the amusement device that mirrors the fixed track in its dimensions. The method of achieving this was to couple precise MEMS accelerometer signals that are prone to drift with less precise but highly accurate GNSS receiver signals by aligning these datasets with wheel rotation counts as the train moves around the track.

Established and respected standards were used to determine feasibility requirements and the testing methods needed for acceleration sensors to produce accurate and repeatable data sets. The high vibration and acceleration forces of roller coasters proved to make this a challenging endeavor but a proof of concept was established. The learnings from this project can be used to build on the application of correlating acceleration data with GPS track location using revolution of wheel counts.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Billingsley, John
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechatronics)
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2021 05:30
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 04:16

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