Magnetic Levitation

In this FEEDBACK, experiment, a 25mm-diameter hollow steel sphere is suspended in space with visually appealing results and convenient time constants. Both analogue and digital control solutions are implemented. Convenient sockets on the enclosure panel allow for quick changes of analogue controller gain and compensation components. The equipment is self-contained in analogue mode, with built-in power supply. In the digital mode the system operates within a MATLAB/SIMULINK environment which allows the system parameters to be determined and the system to be modeled. Once the digital controller parameters have been determined, the controller can be used to run the hardware and the actual control performance can be seen and analyzed.

Control techniques studied:

Analogue operation:
  • Non-linear model
  • Unstable system
  • Linearization about an operating point
  • Infra-red sensor characteristics
  • Lead-lag compensation
  • Perturbation sensitivity
  • PD control
Digital operation:
  • Unstable system
  • Linearization about an operating point
  • Non linear model
  • A/D and D/A conversion
  • State space PD control
  • PID control
  • Calibration
  • Regulation control
  • Tracking control