Title page for ETD etd-06272001-113530

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Vallance, Phillip James
URN etd-06272001-113530
Title Digital Control of Levitation
Degree Master of Engineering
Department Electrical and Computer Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ramu, Krishnan Committee Chair
Hendricks, Robert W. Committee Member
Reed, Jeffrey Hugh Committee Member
  • Electromagnetic levitation
  • current command generation
  • velocity control
Date of Defense 2001-06-04
Availability unrestricted

Electromagnetic levitation has been commonly researched for the use in ground transit systems. It is ideal for high-speed applications that require low friction. The principle is simple, use electromagnetic force to balance the force imposed by gravity. However, for attractive levitation the system is unstable and nonlinear. Two dominant approaches to this problem have been to use a state feedback control system or a simple linear PID compensated control architecture. State feedback is a well-known control technique, but is complicated to implement and can rely on linearization of the system dynamics. The simple PID control structure is very easy to implement, but can have severe performance degradation in the presence of noise. This system can usually be identified by its large acoustic noise. This is primarily due to the differential term in the controller. This thesis proposes a solution that uses two concepts: Current Command Generation (CCG) and a closed velocity loop.

CCG linearizes the control structure by utilizing the known magnetic properties of the system to convert a desired force to a current for any given air gap. This removes squared command terms from the control structure. This allows for a reliable and predictable implementation of linear feedback control systems.

The PID implementation of an attractive levitation system uses two control loops. The inner loop is a current controller, which receives current commands from the outer position loop. The proposed control architecture uses three loops. The innermost loop is the current controller, which receives current commands for the CCG. The middle loop is a velocity controller, which receives commands from the position (outer most) loop and produces force command output used as inputs to the CCG. The three loops consist of two Proportional Integral (PI) controllers for the current and velocity controllers and a Proportional (P) controller. There is no derivative term, making the proposed solution's performance far less dependent on noise.

This architecture removes the necessity of nonlinear elements in the control architectures and improves noise rejection through the use of the velocity loop. The acoustic noise performance of this system is enhanced by both of these methodologies and is shown in the experimental setup.

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