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1. WO2020113287 - SUSPENSION SYSTEM WITH PITCH AND ROLL ADJUSTMENT

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A suspension system for supporting a body relative to at least four points, the at least four points including a front left point, a front right point, a back left point and a back right point, the suspension system including:

a front left support arrangement between the front left point and the body, a front right support arrangement between the front right point and the body, a back left support arrangement between the back left point and the body and a back right support arrangement between the back right point and the body, each respective front left, front right, back left and back right support arrangement including a respective resilience arrangement and a respective control ram, each control ram including a respective compression chamber forming at least part of a respective compression control volume, each resilience arrangement acting on the respective compression control volume, a control arrangement including a first diagonal reversible pump for displacing fluid between the front left compression control volume and the back right compression control volume and a second diagonal reversible pump for displacing fluid between the front right compression control volume and the back left compression control volume,

wherein at least one of the respective resilience arrangements includes a respective damping arrangement to controllably restrict and/or selectively prevent compression and/or expansion of at least a portion of the respective resilience arrangement.

2. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein each respective damping arrangement includes a variable or controllable restriction to vary the amplitude, speed, and/or acceleration of the compression and/or expansion of at least a portion of the respective resilience arrangement, the variable or controllable restriction being varied at least in dependence on an operational mode of the control arrangement.

3. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein each respective

damping arrangement includes a lockout to selectively prevent compression and/or expansion of at least a portion of the respective resilience arrangement in dependence on an operational mode of the control arrangement.

4. A suspension system according to any of claims 1 to 3 wherein the control arrangement includes at least a transit mode in which the roll attitude of the body is adjusted to roll the body into a turn.

5. A suspension system according to any of claims 1 to 3 wherein the control arrangement includes at least a loitering mode in which the roll attitude and the pitch attitude of the body are adjusted to substantially maintain roll and pitch attitude of the body.

6. A suspension system according to any of claims 1 to 3 wherein the control arrangement includes at least a transfer mode in which the roll attitude and/or the pitch attitude of the body is adjusted

7. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein the body is a chassis of a water-craft and the at least four points include a front left point and a back left point located on at least one left hull and a front right point and a back right point located on at least one right hull.

8. A suspension system according to claim 7 wherein the at least at least one left hull is a single left hull and the at least one right hull is a single right hull.

9. A suspension system according to claim 7 wherein the at least at least one left hull is a front left hull on which the front left point is located and a back left hull on which the back left point is located; and

the at least one right hull is a front right hull on which the front right point is located and a back right hull on which the back right point is located.

10. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein the body is a chassis of a vehicle and the front left point is located on a front left wheel assembly, the back left point is located on a back left wheel assembly, the front right point is located on a front right wheel assembly and the back right point is located on a back right wheel assembly.

11. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein the respective resilience arrangement includes a respective resilient support.

12. A suspension system according to claim 11 wherein the respective resilient support includes a coil spring.

13. A suspension system according to claim 11 wherein the respective resilient support includes a pneumatic spring.

14. A suspension system according to claim 11 wherein the respective resilient support includes a hydraulic cylinder in at least selective

communication with a fluid pressure accumulator.

15. A suspension system according to claim 11 wherein the respective control ram is in series with the respective resilient support of the respective support arrangement.

16. A suspension system according to claim 11 wherein the respective control ram is in parallel with the respective resilient support of the respective support arrangement.

17. A suspension system according to claim 11 wherein the respective damping arrangement includes a shock absorber in parallel with the respective resilient support of the respective support arrangement.

18. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein each respective

resilience arrangement includes a respective fluid pressure accumulator in at least controllable or selective fluid communication with the respective

compression control volume.

19. A suspension system according to claim 18 wherein each respective damping arrangement includes a respective orifice and/or damper valve to control said controllable or selective fluid communication between the respective fluid pressure accumulator and the respective compression control volume.

20. A suspension system according to claim 18 wherein each respective damping arrangement includes a respective lockout valve to control said controllable or selective fluid communication between the respective fluid pressure accumulator and the respective compression control volume.

21. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein each respective control ram is a single-acting ram.

22. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein each respective control ram is a double-acting ram and includes a respective rebound chamber, the rebound chamber of the front left control ram being in fluid

communication with the compression chamber of the back right control ram forming the back right compression control volume,

the rebound chamber of the front right control ram being in fluid communication with the compression chamber of the back left control ram forming the back left compression control volume,

the rebound chamber of the back left control ram being in fluid

communication with the compression chamber of the front right control ram forming the front right compression control volume,

the rebound chamber of the back right left control ram being in fluid communication with the compression chamber of the front left control ram forming the front left compression control volume.

23. A suspension system according to claim 22 wherein in each control ram, a pressure area of the rebound chamber is equal to a pressure area of the compression chamber.

24. A suspension system according to claim 1 further including a heave ram including four system pressure chambers and a heave pressure chamber, each of the four system chambers being connected to a respective one of the front left, front right, back left and back right compression control volumes,

and a heave fluid pressure accumulator in direct or indirect fluid communication with the heave pressure chamber.

25. A suspension system according to claim 24 further including a heave reversible pump between the heave pressure chamber and the heave fluid pressure accumulator for displacing fluid therebetween.

26. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein each respective front left, front right, back left or back right control ram further includes a respective rebound chamber,

the front left compression chamber and the front right rebound chamber being in fluid communication and forming at least a part of the front left compression control volume,

the front right compression chamber and the front left rebound chamber being in fluid communication forming at least part of the front right compression control volume,

the back left compression chamber and the back right rebound chamber being in fluid communication and forming at least a part of the back left compression control volume,

the back right compression chamber and the back left rebound chamber being in fluid communication forming at least part of the back right compression control volume.

27. A suspension system according to claim 26 wherein at least one of said respective front left, front right, back left or back right compression control volumes is in at least controllable or selective fluid communication with a respective fluid pressure accumulator.

28. A suspension system according to claim 26 wherein the control rams support the body.

29. A suspension system according to claim 26 wherein each respective support arrangement further includes a respective support.

30. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein each support arrangement further includes a respective roll ram and a respective pitch ram, each respective roll ram including a respective roll compression chamber and a respective roll rebound chamber,

the front left and back left roll compression chambers and the front right and back right roll rebound chambers being in fluid communication and forming a left roll compression volume,

the front right and back right roll compression chambers and the front left and back left roll rebound chambers being in fluid communication forming a right roll compression volume,

each respective pitch ram including at least a respective pitch

compression chamber, the front left and front right pitch compression chambers being in fluid communication forming a front pitch compression volume, the back left and back right pitch compression chambers being in fluid

communication forming a back pitch compression volume.

31. A suspension system according to claim 30 wherein each respective pitch ram further includes a respective pitch rebound chamber, the front left and front right pitch rebound chambers forming part of the back pitch compression volume, the back left and back right pitch rebound chambers forming part of the front pitch compression volume.

32. A suspension system according to claim 30 wherein in at least one of the respective support arrangements, the respective control ram is integrated into the respective pitch ram.

33. A suspension system according to claim 30 wherein a roll reversible pump is connected between the left roll compression volume and the right roll compression volume.

34. A suspension system according to claim 1 further including a warp load distribution unit comprising at least a front left system chamber, a front right system chamber, a back left system chamber and a back right system chamber defined by at least two movable members, each respective system chamber being in fluid communication with the respective compression control volume, the at least two movable members being fluidly or mechanically interconnected such that motion of one of the movable members urges motion of the other movable member,

the front left system chamber varying in volume in the same direction as the back right system chamber in the opposite direction to the front right and back left system chambers.

35. A suspension system according to claim 34 wherein the warp load distribution unit comprises a first cylinder and a second cylinder axially aligned with the first cylinder,

the at least two movable members being a first piston and a second piston,

the first piston being slidably located in the first cylinder and forming a first chamber and a second chamber in the first cylinder,

the second piston being slidably located in the second cylinder and forming a first chamber and a second chamber in the second cylinder,

the first piston being mechanically connected to the second piston by a rod.

36. A suspension system according to claim 35 wherein the rod extends through the second chamber of the first cylinder and through the first chamber of the second cylinder,

the first chamber of the first cylinder being the front left system chamber, the second chamber of the first cylinder being the back left system chamber, the first chamber of the second cylinder being the back right system chamber, the second chamber of the second cylinder being the front right system chamber.

37. A suspension system according to claim 35 wherein the rod extends through the first and second chambers of both of the first cylinder and the second cylinder,

the first chamber of the first cylinder being the front left system chamber, the second chamber of the first cylinder being the front right system chamber, the first chamber of the second cylinder being the back right system chamber, the second chamber of the second cylinder being the back left system chamber.

38. A suspension system according to claim 34 wherein each respective control ram is a single-acting ram.

39. A suspension system according to claim 34 wherein each respective control ram includes a respective rebound chamber,

the rebound chamber of the front left control ram being in fluid

communication with the compression chamber of the back right control ram forming the back right compression control volume,

the rebound chamber of the front right control ram being in fluid communication with the compression chamber of the back left control ram forming the back left compression control volume,

the rebound chamber of the back left control ram being in fluid

communication with the compression chamber of the front right control ram forming the front right compression control volume,

the rebound chamber of the back right left control ram being in fluid communication with the compression chamber of the front left control ram forming the front left compression control volume.

40. A suspension system according to claim 34 wherein the warp load distribution unit comprises first, second, third and fourth cylinders, the first and second cylinders being axially aligned with each other and the third and fourth cylinders being axially aligned with each other,

the at least two movable members including a first piston slidably located in the second cylinder and a second piston slidably located in the third cylinder, the first piston defining the back right system chamber and a first diagonal heave chamber in the second cylinder, a first rod extending from the first piston through the back right system chamber into the first cylinder, defining the front left system chamber,

the second piston defining the back left system chamber and a second diagonal heave chamber in the third cylinder, a second rod extending from the second piston through the back left system chamber into the fourth cylinder, defining the front right system chamber,

the first and second diagonal heave chambers being connected by a heave conduit.

41. A suspension system according to claim 40 wherein a heave fluid pressure accumulator and/or a heave reversible pump with heave adjustment accumulator are provided in fluid communication with the heave conduit.

42. A suspension system according to claim 1 wherein at least one respective fluid pressure accumulator is provided for at least one of the front left, front right, back left or back right compression control volumes respectively.

43. A suspension system for supporting a body relative to at least four points, the at least four points including a front left point, a front right point, a back left point and a back right point, the suspension system including:

a front left support arrangement between the front left point and the body, a front right support arrangement between the front right point and the body, a back left support arrangement between the back left point and the body and a back right support arrangement between the back right point and the body, each respective front left, front right, back left and back right support arrangement including a respective control ram, each control ram including a respective compression chamber forming at least part of a respective

compression control volume,

a control arrangement including a first diagonal reversible pump for displacing fluid between the front left compression control volume and the back right compression control volume and a second diagonal reversible pump for displacing fluid between the front right compression control volume and the back left compression control volume,

wherein each respective front left, front right, back left or back right control ram further includes a respective rebound chamber,

the front left compression chamber and the front right rebound chamber being in fluid communication and forming at least a part of the front left compression control volume,

the front right compression chamber and the front left rebound chamber being in fluid communication forming at least part of the front right compression control volume,

the back left compression chamber and the back right rebound chamber being in fluid communication and forming at least a part of the back left compression control volume,

the back right compression chamber and the back left rebound chamber being in fluid communication forming at least part of the back right compression control volume.

44. A suspension system according to claim 43 wherein each support arrangement includes:

a respective resilience arrangement acting on the respective

compression control volume and

a respective damping arrangement to controllably restrict and/or selectively prevent compression and/or expansion of at least a portion of the respective resilience arrangement.

45. A suspension system according to claim 44 wherein each respective damping arrangement includes a variable or controllable restriction to vary the amplitude, speed and/or acceleration of the compression and/or expansion of at least a portion of the respective resilience arrangement, the variable or controllable restriction being varied or controlled at least in dependence on an operational mode of the control arrangement.

46. A suspension system according to claim 44 wherein each damping arrangement includes a respective lockout to selectively prevent compression and/or expansion of at least a portion of the respective resilience arrangement in dependence on an operational mode of the control arrangement.

47. A suspension system according to any of claims 44 to 46 wherein the control arrangement includes at least a transit mode in which the roll attitude of the body is adjusted to roll the body into a turn.

48. A suspension system according to any of claims 44 to 46 wherein the control arrangement includes at least a loitering mode in which the roll attitude and the pitch attitude of the body are adjusted to substantially maintain roll and pitch attitude of the body.

49. A suspension system according to any of claims 44 to 46 wherein the control arrangement includes at least a transfer mode in which the roll attitude and/or the pitch attitude of the body is adjusted

50. A suspension system according to claim 44 wherein each resilience arrangement includes a respective fluid pressure accumulator in at least

controllable or selective fluid communication with the respective compression control volume.

51. A suspension system according to claim 50 wherein each damping arrangement includes a respective restriction or damper valve to restrict fluid communication between the respective fluid pressure accumulator and the respective compression control volume.

52. A suspension system according to claim 50 wherein each damping arrangement includes a respective lockout valve to selectively limit or prevent fluid communication between the respective fluid pressure accumulator and the respective compression control volume.

53. A suspension system according to claim 43 wherein the body is a chassis of a water-craft and the at least four points include a front left point and a back left point located on at least one left hull and a front right point and a back right point located on at least one right hull.

54. A suspension system according to claim 53 wherein the at least at least one left hull is a single left hull and the at least one right hull is a single right hull.

55. A suspension system according to claim 53 wherein the at least at least one left hull is a front left hull on which the front left point is located and a back left hull on which the back left point is located; and

the at least one right hull is a front right hull on which the front right point is located and a back right hull on which the back right point is located.

56. A suspension system according to claim 43 wherein the body is a chassis of a vehicle and the front left point is located on a front left wheel assembly, the back left point is located on a back left wheel assembly, the front right point is located on a front right wheel assembly and the back right point is located on a back right wheel assembly.

57. A suspension system for supporting a body relative to at least four points, the at least four points including a front left point, a front right point, a back left point and a back right point, the suspension system including:

a front left support arrangement between the front left point and the body, a front right support arrangement between the front right point and the body, a back left support arrangement between the back left point and the body and a back right support arrangement between the back right point and the body, each respective front left, front right, back left and back right support arrangement including a respective resilience arrangement and a respective control ram, each control ram including a respective compression chamber forming at least part of a respective compression control volume, each resilience arrangement having an associated amount of resilience and each resilience arrangement acting on the respective compression control volume, a control arrangement including a first diagonal reversible pump for displacing fluid between the front left compression control volume and the back right compression control volume and a second diagonal reversible pump for displacing fluid between the front right compression control volume and the back left compression control volume,

wherein at least one of the resilience arrangements includes a damping arrangement arranged to facilitate controllable modification of the amount of resilience acting on the respective compression control volume.