The construction of a magnetic levitation system is a complex engineering task with a lot of challenge. In addition to the controller design, the implementation of algorithms and the tuning of the controller, the well-planned physical system also have to be built.
There is a large choice of actuators, sensors, and control algorithms as well as in the design of the surrounding circuits. Spatial location of hardware components of the system could cause many cross-effects. There are a lot of possibilities of solving these problems, all of them with advantages and disadvantages. Most suitable solutions have to be chosen after careful considerations with bearing in mind the future use of the system.
The main tasks are the stabilization of levitation, identification of the plant and the controller design. Non-linear effects complicate the task. During designing I am dealing with the linearization of the system and possibilities of controlling a nonlinear plant with a linear controller.
I am using a rapid control prototyping enviroment with MATLAB-Simulink-QUARC as software components and the Quanser Q8 data acquisition board.
There are a lot of possible uses of the properly designed and stable system in education as a demonstrational system, as well as in industy. Further development of the method also opens up new ways in application of magnetism and magnetic levitation.