Advancements in Vehicle Test Systems

GEO Systems Technologies test centers utilize test platforms developed by the forward thinking and engineering driven group at PowerStream Industries.

In creating their advanced full car off track test systems they chose to do it differently and do it better! A priority was to leave the very dated servo hydraulic approach far behind. The results are leading edge electric test systems which are much more capable, precise, repeatable, safer, and environmentally responsible than any systems coming before.

At first glance, the GEO testing platforms may appear as another variation of a “Poster or Shaker” system. When you take a closer look, and see the principles behind system configuration, you will understand how different this technology is. There have been several voids in vehicle testing that remained unrealized until the GEO test systems were developed. These are just a few of the key technology advancements in “Full Vehicle”, “Half Vehicle”, and “Quarter Vehicle” testing;

  • Every vehicle produced for Professional Motorsports or Highway use has its own unique kinematic fingerprint. Mapping and understanding the effects of each kinematic fingerprint has never been a simple task, and often becomes a mathematical model of what “should be” versus “what is”. The multidirectional and modular design of the GEO system is the only way to fully capture “what is”. Replication and measurement under replication are the 2 fundamentals most required in the kinematic diagnostic process. Replication is having the ability to apply any force and moment, under displacement, in any or all degrees of freedom. In some vehicles, very simple force and moments applied can produce a distinct visual of the kinematic characteristics. In other vehicles, it requires a set of very unique and complex applied parameters. If you look at the GEO system as an X, Y, and Z box, there are over 100 million positional combinations possible. This put very simple means; anything within the area of a vehicle can be manipulated by the GEO platform. This cannot be achieved by simply “shaking” the vehicle, nor can this be achieved by conventional compliance practices. GEO is the only system that can replicate any mechanical or physical occurrence, where it occurs, and how it occurs.

  • It is one thing to manipulate the condition of the vehicle, but without intelligent measurement, only part of the picture will develop. Going back to the X, Y, and Z box, measurement within the entire environment is paramount. Mechatronics play a key role in achieving multidirectional measurements in static and manipulated states. This is done through a combination of robotics, optics, and high resolution encoding. Every small movement within the box is monitored in displacement by millions of position counts. Force and moments are gathered from all directions within the GEO environment. There is virtually no place within the environment that is void of a measurement. There are many misconceptions in proper displacement speeds. Many often speak in terms of high frequency, and believe more is better. This is simply NOT the case. The key goal in measurement is to achieve measurement data that is NOT “over influenced” by subjecting the measurement devices to conditions where they cannot produce clean, clear, and accurate data. High frequency influences have their place in vehicle and sub-component testing. Those methods are primarily effective in damper development, and for testing vehicles for audible NVH characteristics at the end of the production line. GEO does have a wide range of frequency capability, but this is never set beyond what produces the best uninfluenced data.

  • The modular construction of each and every GEO platform is the foundation to achieving a method for any possible test scenario. Through this technologically advanced platform, customer specific applications can be met with less expense and less time to complete. One GEO platform may be configured as a 6 DoF system with 50+ axes, the next platform can be tailored to vertical applications, and yet another configured for driveline operation under multidirectional force and moment. There are no limitations or system recipes the GEO platform cannot be constructed for. Whether the system is configured up front, or years after the initial system is built, the platform can be expanded to meet additional needs. Where “shaker systems” shake, and “compliance systems” constrain, the innovations and intent of the GEO platform are more advanced. Much like every vehicle having its own unique characteristics, the GEO system configuration will also need to be unique for a specific application. That is the premise on which GEO was extensively developed.

We are fortunate to have developed the GEO technology in a time where many separate innovations could be applied to one base system. Modern Mechatronic advancements allow the GEO platform to be in any number of multidirectional axes, have unlimited data inputs/outputs, and have a completely expandable control system. We cover a range of applications that covers from Formula 1 all the way down through Powersports applications, and everything that falls in between. We encourage you to think beyond. Think what you would like to do in your vehicle testing and not how to adapt or work around previous technologies.