Date of Award

Summer 1-1-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy In Engineering Degree


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Sawicki, Jerzy T.

Second Advisor

Hanz Richter

Third Advisor

Dan Simon


This work developed strategies for reducing the computational complexity of implementing robust controllers for active magnetic bearing (AMB) systems and investigated the use of a novel add-on controller for gyroscopic effect compensation to improve achievable performance with robust controllers. AMB systems are multi-input multi-output (MIMO) systems with many interacting mechanisms that needs to fulfill conflicting performance criteria. That is why robust control techniques are a perfect application for AMB systems as they provide systematic methods to address both robustness and performance objectives. However, robust control techniques generally result in high order controllers that require high-end control hardware for implementation. Such controllers are not desirable by industrial AMB vendors since their hardware is based on embedded systems with limited bandwidths. That is why the computational cost is a major obstacle towards industry adaptation of robust controllers. Two novel strategies are developed to reduce the computational complexity of singlerate robust controllers while preserving robust performance. The first strategy identifies a dual-rate configuration of the controller for implementation. The selection of the dualrate configuration uses the worst-case plant analysis and a novel approach that identifies the largest tolerable perturbations to the controller. The second strategy aims to redesign iv the controller by identifying and removing negligible channels in the context of robust performance via the largest tolerable perturbations to the controller. The developed methods are demonstrated both in simulation and experiment using three different AMB systems, where significant computational savings are achieved without degrading the performance. To improve the achievable performance with robust controllers, a novel add-on controller is developed to compensate the gyroscopic effects in flexible rotor-AMB systems via modal feedback control. The compensation allows for relaxing the robustness requirements in the control problem formulation, potentially enabling better performance. The effectiveness of the developed add-on controller is demonstrated experimentally on two AMB systems with different rotor configurations. The effects of the presence of the add-on controller on the performance controller design is investigated for one of the AMB systems. Slight performance improvements are observed at the cost of increased power consumption and increased computational complexity.