Publications / 2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada

Real-Time Simulation of Mining and Earthmoving Operations: A Level Set-Based Model for Tool-Induced Terrain Deformations

D. Holz, A. Azimi, M. Teichmann, S. Mercier
Pages 468-477 (2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada, ISBN 978-1-62993-294-1, ISSN 2413-5844)

In this work we present a novel level set-based model for the real-time simulation of soil deformations. A level set defined by a signed distance function and sampled in a regular 3D grid represents and tracks the soil volume under deformation. Moving away from classical 2.5D heightfield representations of soil to a full 3D volume representation allows for improved tracking of cutting tool operations and the simulation of near-vertical or vertical soil faces. The proposed level set representation furthermore provides a versatile mathematical platform for modeling additional effects such as soil slip, and does not suffer from the sampling limitations of commonly used heightfields. Cutting forces applied to the tool are simulated via a formulation based on the Fundamental Equation of Earthmoving, modified to support inclined soil surfaces and transient states of tool motion. Discretisation of this 2D cutting force model with respect to the tool surface allows capturing the effects of irregular 3D terrain shapes on blades and buckets. The surcharge created during cutting operations is tracked in the form of particles and included in the soil failure force computation. We make use of an adaptive, hybrid level set-based and particle-based soil deformation scheme, which allows the soil deformation to be simulated in real-time.

Keywords: Physics-based simulation, Computer graphics, Soil mechanics, Deformable surfaces, Virtual reality