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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 110
Edited by: J. Pombo
Paper 99

Construction of Three-Dimensional Track Models for Roller-Coaster Applications

B. Sequeira1, J. Pombo1,2,3, P. Antunes2, J. Ambrósio2 and P. Woodward1

1School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2LAETA, IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
3ISEL, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, Portugal

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
B. Sequeira, J. Pombo, P. Antunes, J. Ambrósio, P. Woodward, "Construction of Three-Dimensional Track Models for Roller-Coaster Applications", in J. Pombo, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Railway Technology: Research, Development and Maintenance", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 99, 2016. doi:10.4203/ccp.110.99
Keywords: rail guided vehicles, track parameterisation, curve geometry, analytical segments, multibody dynamics.

The definition of roller coaster tracks requires the accurate description of their spatial geometries, which is usually done with the parameterisation of the track centerline. Nevertheless, the construction of such track models is not an easy task as it requires the definition of a collection of three-dimensional segments with complex geometries and the characterization of a reference plane where the rails sit and relative to which the cant angle is defined. In this paper, a methodology, with a user friendly interface, is presented for the construction of three-dimensional track models with complex geometries. For this purpose, a library of analytical segments is provided to the user where they just have to select the sequence in which these segments are used to build the track model and define some simple parameters that characterize each segment, e.g., the radius and length of a curve. The methodology proposed here is demonstrated through the construction of a realistic roller coaster track with a complex geometry. It is shown that this tool can be used in the framework of a multibody formulation to perform dynamic analyses of roller coaster vehicles and compute, for example, the accelerations perceived by the passengers or the reaction forces imposed to the roller coaster structure by the running vehicles.

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