Air levitation is the process by which an object is lifted without mechanical support in a stable position, by providing an upward force that counteracts the gravitational force exerted on the object. This laboratory provides a framework to experiment on the control of the position of a ball which is levitating inside a tube due to an air flow propelled by a fan on its base.
The ball and plate system consist of a ball that is free to roll over a rigid plate. The position of the ball over the plate can be controlled by manipulation the inclination angles of the plate. This is a non-linear, multi-variable and open-loop unstable system which presents challenging problems, such as: 1) point stabilization control, to carry the ball to a specific position and hold it there, and 2) trajectory tracking control, in which the goal is to make the ball follows a predefined geometric trajectory minimizing the tracking error.
This application simulates a first order system. The system consists in a motor that moves a load (a steel disc). The angular position and velocity of the motor are controlled adjusting the input voltage. The position is measured with a potentiometer connected to the axis of the motor.
A slow process with high time constants. The single tank system is a classic in control engineering problems. In this virtual lab, users can try manual control, PID control, on/off control and a lead-lag compensator. The linear and the non-linear models of the system are available.
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