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This paper presents the development of an active suspension control system which uses state space methods and the pole placement technique for a novel application on an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). Continuous and discrete controllers are developed for both one and two degree of freedom (DOF) quarter-car active suspension systems. The response of both systems to a step input equivalent to a 10 cm bump in the ground surface is presented and the implications are discussed. A preliminary design for the construction of a physical 1-DOF active suspension experimental rig is proposed. The 1-DOF system has been suitably scaled for laboratory conditions. The experimental rig will be used to support teaching and research activities in control strategies for active suspensions, especially for unmanned ground vehicles.