Publication Date

Summer 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering


Burford Furman


Automatic Transit Network, Kanes, MATLAB, MotionGenesis, Personal Rapid Transit, SIMULINK

Subject Areas

Mechanical engineering; Transportation; Mathematics


In order to enhance the research into Automation Transit Network (ATN) systems

performed by the Spartan Superway team, a simulation environment and controller is

developed for a suspended ATN vehicle. The equations of motion are derived for a

suspended ATN vehicle constrained to move on a circular guideway (referred to as the

Planar System) and for an ATN vehicle constrained to move on a guideway of arbitrary

geometry (referred to as the General System). Additionally, a controller using feedback

linearization is designed that tracks the position of the ATN for a conditioned displacement

profile and minimizes the lateral acceleration experienced by the passenger. A literature

review is first performed that covers the background of ATN systems and other important

concepts important to vehicle control. The equations of motion for both the Planar System

and General System are derived by the use of hand calculations and the MotionGenesis

application. MotionGenesis is also used for the geometric calculations to allow for the

interpolation of the arbitrary geometry guideway, the formation of the displacement

profile, and the formation of the wind profile. SIMULINK is used to form the simulation

environment built from the theoretical work and run validation simulations. Using a

circular guideway with a radius of 100 meters, it is found that there is negligible deviation

between simulations of the Planar System and simulations of the General System. A

controller is successfully implemented on the Planar System using feedback linearization

with dynamics derived from both the Planar System and General System. Finally, there is

a proof-of-concept test of the dynamics of an ATN vehicle on an Euler spiral guideway.