Rough-terrain groundspeed measurement : a radar-based commercial solution
Off-highway motive plant equipment is costly in capital outlay and maintenance. To reduce these overheads and increase site safety and workrate, a technique of assessing and limiting the velocity of such equipment is required. Due to the extreme environmental conditions met on such sites, conventional velocity measurement techniques are inappropriate. Ogden Electronics Limited were formed specifically to manufacture a motive plant safety system incorporating a speed sensor and sanction unit; to date, the only such commercial unit available. However, problems plague the reliability, accuracy and mass production of this unit. This project assesses the company's exisiting product, and in conjunction with an appreciation of the company history and structure, concludes that this unit is unsuited to its intended application. Means of improving the measurement accuracy and longevity of this unit, commensurate with the company's limited resources and experience, are proposed, both for immediate retrofit and for longer term use. This information is presented in the form of a number of internal reports for the company. The off-highway environment is examined; and in conjunction with an evaluation of means of obtaining a returned signal, comparisons of processing techniques, and on-site gathering of previously unavailable data, preliminary designs for an alternative product are drafted. Theoretical aspects are covered by a literature review of ground-pointing radar, vehicular radar, and velocity measuring systems. This review establishes and collates the body of knowledge in areas previously considered unrelated. Based upon this work, a new design is proposed which is suitable for incorporation into the existing company product range. Following production engineering of the design, five units were constructed, tested and evaluated on-site. After extended field trials, this design has shown itself to possess greater accuracy, reliability and versatility than the existing sensor, at a lower unit cost.