A large scale design space exploration can provide valuable insight into vehicle design tradeoffs being considered for the U.S. Army’s FMTV (Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles). Through a grant from TACOM (Tank-automotive and Armaments Command), researchers have generated detailed road, surface, and grade conditions representative of the performance criteria of this medium-sized truck and constructed a virtual powertrain simulator for both conventional and hybrid variants. The simulator incorporates the latest technology among vehicle design options, including scalable ultracapacitor and NiMH battery packs as well as a variety of generator and traction motor configurations. An energy management control strategy has also been developed to provide efficiency and performance.
A design space exploration for the family of vehicles involves running a large number of simulations with systematically varied vehicle design parameters, where each variant is paced through several different mission profiles and multiple attributes of performance are measured. The resulting designs are filtered to remove dominated designs, exposing the multi-criterial surface of optimality (Pareto optimal designs), and revealing the design tradeoffs as they impact vehicle performance and economy. The results are not yet definitive because ride and drivability measures were not included, and work is not finished on fine-tuning the modeled dynamics of some powertrain components. However, the work so far completed demonstrates the effectiveness of the approach to design space exploration, and the results to date suggest the powertrain configuration best suited to the FMTV mission.