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J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):121001-121001-8. doi:10.1115/1.4037166.

In this paper, a new approach is proposed to deal with the delay in vehicle stability control using model predictive control (MPC). The vehicle considered here is a rear-wheel drive electric (RWD) vehicle. The yaw rate response of the vehicle is modified by means of torque vectoring so that it tracks the desired yaw rate. Presence of delays in a control loop can severely degrade controller performance and even cause instability. The common approaches for handling delays are often complex in design and tuning or require an increase in the dimensions of the controller. The proposed method is easy to implement and does not entail complex design or tuning process. Moreover, it does not increase the complexity of the controller; therefore, the amount of online computation is not appreciably affected. The effectiveness of the proposed method is verified by means of carsim/simulink simulations as well as experiments with a rear-wheel drive electric sport utility vehicle (SUV). The simulation results indicate that the proposed method can significantly reduce the adverse effect of the delays in the control loop. Experimental tests with the same vehicle also point to the effectiveness of this technique. Although this method is applied to a vehicle stability control, it is not specific to a certain class of problems and can be easily applied to a wide range of model predictive control problems with known delays.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):121002-121002-9. doi:10.1115/1.4037164.

Steer-by-wire (SBW) systems in a passenger car can improve vehicle steering capability and design flexibility by replacing the mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and front wheels by a control circuit. The steering controller, however, should provide good performance in response to driver's input signal. This includes fast response, absence of overshoot or oscillatory behavior, and good accuracy with minimal steady-state error. In this paper, an optimal control strategy based on observed system states is proposed and implemented on an electrohydraulic SBW system of a passenger car. First, a linear mathematical model is developed using gray-box system identification techniques. A standard input signal, pseudorandom binary sequence (PRBS), is designed to stimulate the system in the concerned bandwidth. Then, a linear-quadratic regulator (LQR) together with a full-state system observer is designed. Based on simulation, the LQR parameters and the observer poles are chosen to satisfy the aforementioned performance criteria for good steering. Finally, the control strategy is applied in a real-time environment to test the tracking capability, where the system is given high-rate reference signals (relative to the human rate of steering). The results show that the steering system tracks the reference signal with high accuracy even in the existence of high external force disturbances.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):121003-121003-8. doi:10.1115/1.4037165.

This paper proposes a novel computationally efficient dynamics modeling approach for down-hole well drilling system. The existing drilling modeling methods are either computationally intensive such as those using finite element method (FEM) or weak in fidelity for complex geometry such as those using transfer matrix method (TMM). To take advantage of the benefits of FEM and TMM and avoid their drawbacks, this paper presents a new hybrid method integrating both of the aforementioned modeling approaches, enabled by the unique structural geometry of the drilling system. The new method is then applied to the down-hole well drilling system modeling, incorporating the dynamics of top drive, drill-string, bottom-hole-assembly (BHA), and bit–rock interaction. The hybrid integration approaches for both the axial and torsional dimensions are explicitly derived, and we also give directions on how to resolve those for flexural dimension. To this end, numerical simulation results are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed hybrid modeling approach.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):121004-121004-13. doi:10.1115/1.4037003.

The paper discusses novel computationally efficient torque distribution strategies for electric vehicles with individually controlled drivetrains, aimed at minimizing the overall power losses while providing the required level of wheel torque and yaw moment. Analytical solutions of the torque control allocation problem are derived and effects of load transfers due to driving/braking and cornering are studied and discussed in detail. Influences of different drivetrain characteristics on the front and rear axles are described. The results of an analytically derived algorithm are contrasted with those from two other control allocation strategies, based on the offline numerical solution of more detailed formulations of the control allocation problem (i.e., a multiparametric nonlinear programming (mp-NLP) problem). The control allocation algorithms are experimentally validated with an electric vehicle with four identical drivetrains along multiple driving cycles and in steady-state cornering. The experiments show that the computationally efficient algorithms represent a very good compromise between low energy consumption and controller complexity.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):121005-121005-6. doi:10.1115/1.4036949.

This paper presents an L1 adaptive controller for pressure control using an engine bleed valve in an aircraft air management system (AMS). The air management system is composed of two pressure-regulating bleed valves, a temperature control valve, a flow control valve, and a heat exchanger/precooler. Valve hysteresis due to backlash and dry friction is included in the system model. The nonlinearities involved in the system cause oscillations under linear controllers, which decrease component life. This paper is the unique in the consideration of these uncertainties for control design. This paper presents simulation results using the adaptive controller and compares them to those using a proportional–integral (PI) controller.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):121006-121006-11. doi:10.1115/1.4036878.

A new variable structure control strategy consists of two separate sliding mode controllers (SMCs) with a switching mechanism designed to address position tracking problem of electro-hydraulic servo systems (EHS) with acceleration constraint, which can be found in numerous mechatronics and industrial control system applications. Examples include fatigue testing systems, plate hot rolling systems, injection molding machines, hydraulic elevators, and robotic arms. In this paper, first, a complete model of an electro-hydraulic system is proposed in which detailed mathematical descriptions for all elements are included. Not only is a more accurate model capable of providing a fertile ground for simulation studies but also it could contribute toward better results in the control approach. Furthermore, based on the variable dynamic behavior of EHS in forward and return motions, two separate SMCs synchronizing with a switching mechanism are applied. This novel approach calculates two separate control input in each instance for each dynamic behavior of the system and the switching mechanism decides which one should utilize. It is shown that the proposed control method, despite model uncertainties and external disturbances, tracks the reference position with error in scale of 10−3, and its remarkable accuracy in tracking trajectories with acceleration constraint, which has a great deal of importance in the sense of many industrial applications, is proved.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):121007-121007-9. doi:10.1115/1.4036887.

Switched inertance hydraulic systems (SIHS) use inductive, capacitive, and switching elements to boost or “buck” (reduce) a pressure from a source to a load in an ideally lossless manner. Real SIHS circuits suffer a variety of energy losses, with throttling of flow during transitions of the high-speed valve resulting in as much as 44% of overall losses. These throttling energy losses can be mitigated by applying the analog of zero-voltage-switching, a soft switching strategy, adopted from power electronics. In the soft switching circuit, the flow that would otherwise be throttled across the transitioning valve is stored in a capacitive element and bypassed through check valves in parallel with the switching valves. To evaluate the effectiveness of soft switching in a boost converter SIHS, a lumped parameter model was constructed. Simulation demonstrates that soft switching improves the efficiency of the modeled circuit by 42% at peak load power and extends the power delivery capabilities by 77%.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):121008-121008-13. doi:10.1115/1.4036881.

The vehicle positioning system can be utilized for various automotive applications. Primarily focusing on practicality, this paper presents a new method for vehicle positioning systems using low-cost sensor fusion, which combines global positioning system (GPS) data and data from easily available in-vehicle sensors. As part of the vehicle positioning, a novel nonlinear observer for vehicle velocity and heading angle estimation is designed, and the convergence of estimation error is also investigated using Lyapunov stability analysis. Based on this estimation information, a new adaptive Kalman filter with rule-based logic provides robust and highly accurate estimations of the vehicle position. It adjusts the noise covariance matrices Q and R in order to adapt to various environments, such as different driving maneuvers and ever-changing GPS conditions. The performance of the entire system is verified through experimental results using a commercial vehicle. Finally, through a comparative study, the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm is confirmed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

Technical Brief

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):124501-124501-6. doi:10.1115/1.4037007.

In this paper, the problem of output control for linear uncertain systems with external perturbations is studied. First, it is assumed that the output available for measurement is only the higher-order derivative of the state variable, instead of the state variable itself (for example, the acceleration for a second-order plant), and the measurement is also corrupted by noise. Then, via series of integration, an identification algorithm is proposed to identify all unknown parameters of the model and all unknown initial conditions of the state vector. Finally, two control algorithms are developed, adaptive and robust; both provide boundedness of trajectories of the system. The efficiency of the obtained solutions is demonstrated by numerical simulation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control. 2017;139(12):124502-124502-8. doi:10.1115/1.4037167.

Three-phase induction motors (TIMs) are present in most industrial processes, accounting for more than 60% of the energy consumption in industry. Despite their importance in the productive sector, few motors are properly monitored, mainly due to the high cost of the monitoring equipment and the invasiveness in their installation. This paper presents the implementation and deployment of an industrial wireless sensor network (WSN) to monitor three-phase induction motors. Embedded systems were developed to acquire signals of current and voltage from sensors installed in the motors' terminals, perform local processing to estimate torque and efficiency, and transmit the information through the WSN. The method used to estimate the variables is based on the air-gap torque method. Before the deployment in the industry, experiments were performed to validate the system in laboratory. Finally, the system was employed in a real industrial environment, where different analyses and diagnosis of three motors running were performed. Using the proposed system, the efficiency versus load curves of the motors could be obtained continuously, and an energy loss analysis due to the oversizing of the motors was performed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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