New technological advances and the requirements to increasingly abide
by new safety laws in engineering design projects highly affects industrial
products in areas such as automotive, aerospace and railway industries.
The necessity arises to design reduced-cost hi-tech products with minimal
complexity, optimal performance, effective parameter robustness properties,
and high reliability with fault tolerance. In this context the control system
design plays an important role and the impact is crucial relative to the level
of cost efficiency of a product.
Measurement of required information for the operation of the design
control system in any product is a vital issue, and in such cases a number of
sensors can be available to select from in order to achieve the desired system
properties. However, for a complex engineering system a manual procedure
to select the best sensor set subject to the desired system properties can
be very complicated, time consuming or even impossible to achieve. This is
more evident in the case of large number of sensors and the requirement to
comply with optimum performance.
The thesis describes a comprehensive study of sensor selection for control
and fault tolerance with the particular application of an ElectroMagnetic
Levitation system (being an unstable, nonlinear, safety-critical system with
non-trivial control performance requirements). The particular aim of the
presented work is to identify effective sensor selection frameworks subject to
given system properties for controlling (with a level of fault tolerance) the
MagLev suspension system. A particular objective of the work is to identify
the minimum possible sensors that can be used to cover multiple sensor faults,
while maintaining optimum performance with the remaining sensors.
The tools employed combine modern control strategies and multiobjective
constraint optimisation (for tuning purposes) methods. An important part
of the work is the design and construction of a 25kg MagLev suspension
to be used for experimental verification of the proposed sensor selection
A doctoral thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University