The aim of this study is the optimization of the parameters of interconnected Hydro-Pneumatic (HP) suspension system of a three-axle vehicle for ride comfort and handling. For HP suspension systems of equivalent vertical stiffness and damping characteristics, interconnected HP suspension systems increase roll and pitch stiffness and damping characteristics of the vehicle as compared to unconnected HP suspension systems. Thus, they result in improved handling and braking/acceleration performances of the vehicle. However, increased roll and pitch stiffness and damping characteristics also increase roll and pitch accelerations, which in turn result in degraded ride comfort performance. Therefore, in order to improve both ride comfort and vehicle handling performances simultaneously, an optimum parameter set of an interconnected HP suspension system is obtained through an optimization procedure. The objective function is formed as the sum of the weighted vertical accelerations according to ISO 2631. The roll angle, one of the important measures of vehicle handling and driving safety, is imposed as a constraint in the optimization study. Upper and lower parameter bounds are used in the optimization in order to get a physically realizable parameter set. Optimization procedure is implemented for a three-axle vehicle with unconnected and interconnected suspension systems separately. Optimization results show that interconnected HP suspension system results in improvements in both ride comfort and vehicle handling performance, as compared to the unconnected suspension system. As a result, interconnected HP suspension systems present a solution to the conflict between ride comfort and vehicle handling which is present in unconnected suspension systems.
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