A State-Space Approach to the Synthesis of Random Vertical and Crosslevel Rail Irregularities

[+] Author and Article Information
R. H. Fries

Failure Analysis Associates® , Inc., Alexandria, VA 22312

B. M. Coffey

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 112(1), 83-87 (Mar 01, 1990) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2894143 History: Received June 09, 1987; Revised January 04, 1989; Online March 17, 2008


Solution of rail vehicle dynamics models by means of numerical simulation has become more prevalent and more sophisticated in recent years. At the same time, analysts and designers are increasingly interested in the response of vehicles to random rail irregularities. The work described in this paper provides a convenient method to generate random vertical and crosslevel irregularities when their time histories are required as inputs to a numerical simulation. The solution begins with mathematical models of vertical and crosslevel power spectral densities (PSDs) representing PSDs of track classes 4, 5, and 6. The method implements state-space models of shape filters whose frequency response magnitude squared matches the desired PSDs. The shape filters give time histories possessing the proper spectral content when driven by white noise inputs. The state equations are solved directly under the assumption that the white noise inputs are constant between time steps. Thus, the state transition matrix and the forcing matrix are obtained in closed form. Some simulations require not only vertical and crosslevel alignments, but also the first and occasionally the second derivatives of these signals. To accommodate these requirements, the first and second derivatives of the signals are also generated. The responses of the random vertical and crosslevel generators depend upon vehicle speed, sample interval, and track class. They possess the desired PSDs over wide ranges of speed and sample interval. The paper includes a comparison between synthetic and measured spectral characteristics of class 4 track. The agreement is very good.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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