Off-Highway Platooning Sensor Selection and Survivability

Bischof, Lachlan (2022) Off-Highway Platooning Sensor Selection and Survivability. [USQ Project]

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Road trains play a pivotal role in off-highway operations for surface mining both, in Australia and abroad. These vehicles offer high capacity and flexibility to haul a variety of products in many different operational environments. To improve the productivity potential, Dual Powered Road trains have been developed and implemented over several years. These have led to significant cost reductions for hauliers and increased productivity for mines, however they have reached their maximum capacity. Further improvements will require the combinations to be operated in a vehicle platoon, allowing for significant payload additions, while still utilising a single operator. These following platooned vehicles will be completely unmanned and will be required to operate in arduous conditions on gravel roads with high levels of dust and debris present. The aim of the project is to determine what sensor unit is best suited for the safe operation of these vehicles in the harsh environment and then experimentally evaluate the performance of a protection system for that sensor that adequately protects the unit while ensuring correct operation.

A review of the current literature was undertaken to assess the relative performance aspects of the various sensors utilised in the platooning space. This was compared with analyses of similar sensors in mining and construction environments to determine that 2D LiDAR systems were the best performing for this task. This form of LiDAR was then tested with a variety of protective lenses to ensure that the sensor was still able to maintain the accuracy and detail required for platooning.

The report found that 2D LiDAR is a highly adaptable sensor that provides numerous advantages over its competitors in both cost and performance. The LiDAR tested showed excellent performance when operating through polycarbonate and glass lenses in a variety of environments. Fine detail was preserved, and the accuracy of the distance measurement was maintained. The lenses were tested in multiple thicknesses and layers, with analysis showing that 12mm thick polycarbonate lenses are still capable of allowing correct operation of the device.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Supervisors: Low, Tobias
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechatronic)
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2023 01:01
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2023 01:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: road trains; off-highway operations; mining; productivity

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