Dynamics of a roller coaster vehicle
A roller coaster ride consists on a vehicle negotiating a track with a spatial geometry. During the ride, vehicle occupants withstand accelerations due to the car speed variation and track negotiation. The accelerations experienced by the human body must provide excitement without injury risks. The ingredients to model and perform the dynamic analysis of the roller coasters include the track geometry, vehicle-track interaction and vehicle suspensions. In this work a new path motion constraint is proposed to prescribe the motion of each wheelset of a vehicle along the rails, generated based on the roller coaster geometry. A multibody model to represent the roller coaster vehicle is developed together with a biomechanical model for the passenger. Finally, a realistic roller coaster is analyzed and a discussion on its dynamics and on passenger exposure to injury presented.