UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Testing procedures and hardware for the evaluation of the dynamic performance of outboard motor boat steering systems Mytting, Christopher Bruce


This thesis presents testing procedures and hardware for the performance evaluation of steering systems for outboard motor driven pleasure craft. It is intended that this work provide the basis for the evaluation of existing steering systems and the rigorous development of the next generation of systems, specifically, by-wire steering systems. The testing procedures and hardware presented allow the testing of steering systems in a hardware-in-loop configuration that applies both reference inputs and external reactions to the system. Complete steering systems may be tested to assess the steering system response to simple static loads or under dynamic conditions up to the limits associated with typical use patterns. Customized testing procedures can also be formulated to include the emulation of boating conditions, or system-specific testing procedures to examine the response of specific components. The testing hardware consists of a CNC-based system with data acquisition to control system inputs and record the system response. A full description of the testing hardware is provided. An example of the utility of the testing procedures and hardware is presented by using data collected during the standard testing procedures to determine the parameters required in the modelling of a manual hydraulic steering system. To ensure that the hardware in loop simulation inputs are reasonable, boat testing procedures with a representative steering system, boat, and outboard motor combination were performed. These allowed the specification of reasonable input frequency and magnitude of steering effort as well as the measurement of the, force levels required to execute the most extreme manoeuvres likely to be encountered in practice. The data collected, the hardware used to collect the data, a summary of the witnessed operator and disturbance inputs to the steering system, and a simplified model for the prediction of steering loads during boat operation are also included.

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