Experimental Validation of a Numerical Controller Using Convex Optimization with Linear Matrix Inequalities on a Quarter-Car Suspension System

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Chintala, Rohit
active suspension system; LMI; full-state feedback control; static output feedback control
thesis / dissertation description
Numerical methods of designing control systems are currently an active area of research. Convex optimization with linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) is one such method. Control objectives like minimizing the H_2, H_infinity norms, limiting the actuating effort to avoid saturation, pole-placement constraints etc., are cast as LMIs and an optimal feedback controller is found by making use of efficient interior-point algorithms. A full-state feedback controller is designed and implemented in this thesis using this method which then forms the basis for designing a static output feedback (SOF) controller. A profile was generated that relates the change in the SOF control gain matrix required to keep the same value of the generalized H_2 norm of the transfer function from the road disturbance to the actuating effort with the change in the sprung mass of the quarter-car system. The quarter-car system makes use of a linear brushless permanent magnet motor (LBPMM) as an actuator, a linear variable differential transformer (LVDT) and two accelerometers as sensors for feedback control and forms a platform to test these control methodologies. For the full-state feedback controller a performance measure (H_2 norm of the transfer function from road disturbance to sprung mass acceleration) of 2.166*10^3 m/s^2 was achieved ensuring that actuator saturation did not occur and that all poles had a minimum damping ratio of 0.2. The SOF controller achieved a performance measure of 1.707*10^3 m/s^2 ensuring that actuator saturation does not occur. Experimental and simulation results are provided which demonstrate the effectiveness of the SOF controller for various values of the sprung mass. A reduction in the peak-to-peak velocity by 73 percent, 72 percent, and 71 percent was achieved for a sprung mass of 2.4 kg, 2.8 kg, and 3.4 kg, respectively. For the same values of the sprung mass, a modified lead-lag compensator achieved a reduction of 79 percent, 77 percent and, 69 percent, respectively. A reduction of 76 percent and 54 percent in the peak-to-peak velocity was achieved for a sprung mass of 6.0 kg in simulation by the SOF controller and the modified lead-lag compensator, respectively. The gain of the modified lead-lag compensator needs to be recomputed in order to achieve a similar attenuation as that of the SOF controller when the value of the sprung mass is changed. For a sprung mass of 3.4 kg and a suspension spring stiffness of 1640 N/m the peak-to-peak velocity of the sprung mass was attenuated by 42 percent.