There is a requirement for a Vehicle Data Management System (VDMS) by the United States. The military currently has numerous tracked and wheeled vehicles in its inventory, with technical data on their operation and performance available in manuals and reports. Alternatively, there are various vehicle performance computer models and applications, which manipulate characteristics of these vehicles for analytical purposes, but no standard data depot currently exists for collection and storage of this information. This project has developed a means of storing available information about these tracked and wheeled vehicles in a relational database which will allow the user to easily create, retrieve, update, and delete information via a user-interface connected to the database.
The purpose of this project was to create a relational database of vehicle information and a user interface for accessing the database. The project allows for a user-friendly environment (Microsoft Excel and Access) that is convenient and efficient for storing, retrieving, updating and displaying vehicle information. The overall objective of this project was to create an up dateable, computerized database application, the Vehicle Data Management System (VDMS), which provides a composite reference / storage retrieval system for current information pertinent to characteristics of standard military tracked and wheeled vehicles. VDMS is intended to minimize the individual need for periodic reference to technical manuals, reports, and large vehicle files containing large amounts of data. Currently, there exist much data in various places, (technical manuals, files, folders, envelopes, etc.) and no easy way to store, retrieve, update, and manipulate it. Using Visual C++ (programming language) and Access (database, the goal of this project was to provide a faster and more efficient method to create, retrieve, update, and delete the information contained in these vehicle files.
VDMS manipulates vehicle data files that are currently being used as data for vehicle performance models such as the NATO Reference Mobility Model (NRMM). NRMM is an example of an computerized model developed in the early 1970's that combines many mobility-related technologies into one comprehensive package designed to predict the physically constrained terrain / vehicle interaction of vehicles operating in on-road and off-road terrain. Since it's beginning NRMM has been continually updated and expanded as a result of ongoing mobility research and is now in its second release (NRMM II). NRMM provides the NATO members with a standard reference for mobility performance evaluations. NRMM is integrated into other automated models providing the mobility predictions for several other tactical, analytical, and war-gaming models. Currently, the data files are rather large and are not easily read and the data pertaining to these vehicles are stored in text files.
These files are not in a format that is easily understood. Having the data in a database allows the user to manipulate and access the data much faster and more efficiently. VDMS will store the information into a relational database using Access. Each vehicle contains geometric information, vegetation performance information, and ground clearance information. If a vehicle is tracked, there exists a special set of values associated with it. Ifa vehicle is wheeled, there exists a special set of values along with tire information.
All vehicles have information pertaining to the powertrain. This relates to the engine, transmission and power train. The Mobility System Branch has four vehicle performance models using the data stored in vehicle data files. These models are (1) NRMM, (2) Swimming Criteria Model (SWIM CRIT), (3) Vehicle Dynamics Module (V DYN) and (4) Obstacle Crossing Module (OS MOD). All of these models a rewritten in FORTRAN, but will likely be redesigned in the future in C++or another object-oriented language. Having the data in a relational database and a way to enter the data will make this process of storing and restoring the data more efficient and effective.
VDMS provides an easier tool for manipulating the data associated with these files, saving time and providing a more effective means of using the vehicle data. The VDMS application allows users to add, delete, modify, and display vehicle data with ease. It eliminates having to search for vehicle information in books and file cabinets, or having to read large text files. VDMS identifies and organizes the data logically and physically, providing an efficient and effective means of storing, retrieving, manipulating and displaying information about tracked and wheeled vehicles. Currently there are about 100 vehicle files. Adding a function to import these vehicle files into VDMS would be useful.
It would eliminate having to enter the data by hand and searching the vehicle file for the value of each variable. Also, writing an export function to export data from VDMS directly to the model being used could save model run time.