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This thesis will present research developing a set of roller coaster track elements which can be linked together to create a track with continuous curvature throughout. The geometry of the track will be defined by a set of elements, consisting of five types: straight elements, curves, loops, corkscrews, and joints. Once the geometry of a track has been specified, the dynamics will be calculated. Quantities to be determined include the car's velocity and acceleration at all points along the track.

The purpose of this research is to create a computer simulation from the information provided that will accurately model a roller coaster. The program will allow a designer to create a track by specifying elements, and will then analyze a roller coaster car traversing the virtual track. The speed and forces on the car will be determined by the program. Modifications to the elements can then be made until the desired dynamic results are achieved.


Darla Weiss 2000-02-13