A full-scale half car suspension test rig is used to evaluate the performance of switchable dampers in semi-active control. A theoretical model is developed for the test rig and its parameters are identified. Two types of switchable shocks are used. A low bandwidth tri-state damper originally designed for manual setting changes is shown to be too slow for real-time ride quality improvement. Semi-active control is successfully demonstrated with a high bandwidth multi-state damper. Conventional ON-OFF, optimal ON-OFF, optimal multi-state control and a robust form of multi-state control are implemented and compared. Semi-active control is shown to give a performance as good as the best of all available passive states at every frequency. Trends in the experimental results are accurately predicted by the theoretical model.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors wish to thank the Mazda Motor Co., Japan, for supporting this research and the Lord Corporation,Erie, Pa, USA, for providing the multi-state damper.