The Birmingham Maglev developed over fifteen years ago has successfully demonstrated
the inherent advantages of low speed maglev over comparable wheeled systems. It
remains the only commercially operational Maglev in the world today. To develop the
next generation of Maglev vehicles which will overcome some of the limitations of the
Birmingham system, such as chassis length and cost, the following issues are addressed
in this thesis.
1) The possibility of interaction between the chassis resonant frequencies and the
suspension control system causing poor ride quality and at worst instability, are
formally analysed. In the Birmingham vehicle a stiff chassis (fundamental bending
mode 40Hz) is used avoiding significant interaction with the suspension controller.
Using advanced control strategies the low frequency chassis resonances can be
controlled allowing a vehicle structure to be used with a fundamental bending
mode of about 12Hz.
2) A modem control strategy is developed which delivers an improved ride quality
compared with the present classical control system despite having to operate with
a 'soft' chassis. Kalman filters are digitally implemented and conclusions drawn
about their performance. The classical control strategy is also successfully
demonstrated on a 3 m long 'flexible beam' rig.
3) An associated Maglev suspension problem for the response to ramp inputs such
as the transition onto gradients which causes either a large steady state tracking
error or a worsening ride quality is addressed by modern control theory using
integral feedback techniques and classical theory using third order filters. These
controllers are globally optimised by a multi-objective parameter optimisation
system which formally considers the conflicts inherent in a suspension system
between response to stochastic inputs and deterministic inputs.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
The paper listed in Appendix 3 has been removed for copyright reasons but is available online at: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/381399/