The analysis and simulation of the spectral and statistical properties of road roughness for package performance testing

Bruscella, Ben (1997) The analysis and simulation of the spectral and statistical properties of road roughness for package performance testing. Research Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


The laboratory evaluation of package performance is traditionally based on the reproduction of vehicle vertical acceleration from the Power Spectral Density (PSD) estimate. The vertical vehicle response acceleration is primarily a function of vehicle suspension and speed, but is ultimately caused by fluctuations in the road surface. This thesis introduces a universal analysis and classification methodology for discretely sampled road profile data. It originates from the premise that current laboratory simulation of the transport environment, which utilises vehicle tray acceleration, is inadequate for package optimisation through performance testing. Package evaluation procedures, which utilise the road surface roughness as the fundamental excitation variable, are shown to require an accurate road profile characterisation for successful implementation. In this study, several hundred kilometres of Victorian (Australia) road profile data are analysed with the focus on the characterisation of their non-Gaussian and non-stationary properties, for future use in the simulation of the road transportation process. Road profiles are found to be highly non-stationary, non-Gaussian, and contain transients. However, transients are difficult to locate when the data is analysed in the road profile elevation domain. The road profile spatial acceleration is adopted as the preferred analysis domain as roughness variations and transient events are identified with greater reliability and accuracy. Computer software is designed to automatically detect and extract transient events from the majority of road data, which contains short segments of constant RMS level. Transients are analysed separately from the constant RMS sections. Nine universal classification parameters are introduced to fully describe road profile spatial acceleration characteristics from the transient amplitude and stationary RMS distributions. Results from this study are applied to the areas of simulation of roads and classification of individual roads based solely on the nine classification parameters.

Additional Information

Master of Engineering

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1204 Engineering Design
Historical > FOR Classification > 0910 Manufacturing Engineering
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Engineering and Science
Keywords testing of packaging, road surfaces, automotive transportation
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