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Copyright © IFAC System Structure and Control.

Nantes. France. 1995

Modeling and Control of Eddy Current Brake

Laboratoire d 'Automatique de Grenoble & Institut Superieur d 'Automatique et de Robotique de Valence

ADDRESS: ISAR-Rh6ne-Alpes ; 52-74 , rue B. de Laffemas,

BP 1023- 26010 VALENCE, FRANCE.
Phone: (+33) 75757095; Fax: (+33) 75435642 ; E-mail: es@isarJr & dg@isar.fr .

Recently a great deal of attention has been given to numerical algorithms for identification and control of nonlinear
systems. The purpose of this paper is the application of some existing techniques for the modeling and regulation
of an eddy current brake process. An approximate theoretical model is driven for the behavior of an eddy current
disc brake in the low speeds zone. Input-output informations are used to obtain a polynomial state-affine behavior
model for such a process. A dynamical and a static feedback compensator schemes are proposed for the process
speed control in the presence of unknown braking resistant torque . The dragging torque value is estimated by an
appropriate nonlinear observer. Experimental results are presented.
Key-words: Nonlinear systems, modeling, identification , nonlinear observer , nonlinear controler design , Eddy
current brake.

Depuis quelque temps, l'identification et la commande des procedes non lineaires par des algorithmes numeriques
connait un essort important . Dans cet article, quelques techniques existantes sont appliquees pour modeliser et
reguler un systeme de freinage a. courant de Foucault. lin modele de connaissance approche decrivant le comporte-
ment du frein dans la zone de faibles vitesses est propose. Des sequences de donnees d 'entree-sortie correspondant a.
differents regimes de fonctionnement sont ensuite utilisees pour determiner les parametres d ' un modele polynomial
a. etat affine du procede . lin schema de commande par retour dynamique et un compensateur statique sont proposes
pour la regulation de la vitesse du dispositif en presence d' un couple d 'entrainement inconnu . line estimation de la
valeur du couple resistant au freinage est fournie par un observateur non lineaire approprie . Les resultats obtenus
sur la base d 'un dispositif experimental sont presentes.
Mots-cIes: Systemes non lineares, modelelisation , identification , observateur non lineaire, commande non lineaire,
Frein a. courants de Foucault.

1 Introduction model is driven for an eddy current brake process .

The model parameters are estimated by an " input
The problem of numerical control design for non- upholding " technique.
linear processes which is under investigation here The estimated parameters of the model are used to
is a subject of growing interest. Although most design a continuous time control law for speed reg-
industrial processes display nonlinear dynamics , in ulation with the eddy current brake system. The
practice the linear control design methods are often corresponding numerical controller is implemented
used . When the nonlinearities of the process dy- through a sampler and Zero-Order-Holder . The or-
namics are not too severe, a linear approximation of ganization of this paper is the following: A theoret-
its model in a neighborhood of the operating point ical parametric model of the process is proposed in
is generally satisfactory. But in many cases, when section 2. In section 3, the coefficients of the previ-
large deviation from the operating point are pos- ous model are estimated and section 4 deals with a
sible or when the dynamical nonlinearities are too dynamical and static continuous time compensator
severe, the linear model becomes soon limited . In design for speed control and some experimental re-
this case , the design 'of a nonlinear control scheme sults.
may be allowed by an accurate knowledge of a non-
linear model of the process under regulation .
One difficult problem in nonlinear control design 2 Process description and the-
is the modeling of nonlinear systems from a set oretical model
of input-output data. Obviously this is often the
only approach to modeling since, in most cases, An eddy current brake consists of a full copper ware
o'nly input-output data are available . In this paper , or aluminum disc driven in rotative motion through
a theoretical polynomial-in-control and state-affine . the air gap of an electromagnet Fig. 1. When the

disc is moved, an electrical field E = v x B is in- factor C is generally introduced in equation (2), to
duced perpendicularly to both the tangential speed take into account the resistance of the return path
of movement v = RI..; measured at the center of the of induced eddy current, [1,3] . '
pole and the magnetic induction under the pole B.
When the air gap magnetic field is studied for dif-
ferent speeds, three different behavior regions are
fd = -
= -D-dB
Cv. (3)

observed [1].
Referring to Fig. 1 for physical dimensions A, D
i) At low speeds region, the magnetic induction
and R , Wouterse provides the following value for
caused by the eddy current pattern is negligible
coefficient C in [1]:
compare with the original induction . The air gap
magnetic induction B is then slightly less than one
generated at zero speed Bo . In this case, the mag-
netic induction is almost perpendicular to the plane
of the disc.
ii) The critical speed region is the speed zone at
which the exerted brake force is maximal; the in-
duction caused by the eddy current pattern is no At low speed , an eddy current brake acts as a lin-
longer negligible compared with Bo . The mean in- ear damper: the brake force exerted by a constant
duction under the pole is already significantly less magnetic induction is proportional to the speed.
than Bo . Assuming that the magnetic fiu..x B of equation (3)
iii) At higher speeds region , the mean magnetic is generated by a coil supplied by an exciting am-
induction in the air gap tends to further decrease. pere turns H = N.i. . We drive an approximative
Wouterse's experimental results in [1] show that for model giving the brake torque as a function of ex-
infinite speed , the original magnetic field will be citing current i. and (angular) speed w .
completely cancelled by the induced eddy currents .
Although it is difficult to obtain an exact analytical
solution B = f( H) of the magnetization field curve
of the material , the following approximation may
be used :

B - { Br + f./Jo H for H > 0 (5)

- -Br + f./JoH for H < 0

in which Br is the residual magnetic induction and

the slope f./Jo of this function is the permeability
Fig.1. Eddy current brake sketch of the material. Equation (5) has been used by
Venkataratnam and Abdul Kadir in [2] and was
The current density J under the pole in the 'ideal'
shown to be a good qualitative and quantitative
case (super conducting ring around the pole slip-
approximation of the nonlinear B / H curve .
ping over the disc) a is given by the relation J =
Taking into account the exciting equation H = N .i.
1/ p( v x B) ([1]) with p representing the specific
and the natural friction coefficient fo of the process ,
resistance of disc material. The total power dissi-
the total brake force expression may be deduced
pation may be calculated simply by integrating pP
from equation (3).
over the cylindrical volume 7r ~2 d, where d and D
denote respectively the disc thickness and the di- (6)
ameter of circle with same area as the pole face . So
in which
the total dissipation is 7r
0:0 = fo + -D 2 dB;'C ;
(1) 0:1 =± D 2 dBrCNf./Jo and
From equation (1) the brake force may be evaluated 0:2 = ~D2dCN2(f./Jo)2 .
as follows: The following state model description , representing
the input-output behavior may be deduced from
, _ Pd _ ~D2dB2 (2) expression (6) .
Jd - - v.
v 4p

This result means that for low speeds, the brake Xl = (a + bu + CU 2 )Xl + X2
X2 = 0 (7)
force is proportional to the speed. {
Y = Xl
In the real process , the return path of the induced
currents is not of zero resistance . Several outstand- where input u E n = [0 i. mar ] is the exciting
ing works dealing with the study of force in ferro- current , a =
-0:0/1, b =
-o:d I and c -0:2/1 =
magnetic eddy current brake exist in the literature -and I is the total inertia of the process . The output
([1 , 2, 3]) ; different results have been proposed . A y to be controlled represents the process speed and

the state X2 is proportional to the dragging torque the state x(t) (t = k8) of the continuous-time sys-
applied to the process. Notice that this model is tem of model (9).
states affine belongs to the following class of linearly Let suppose that the following natural assumptions
parameterized non linear systems: hold:

:i: = F(O , u)x and y = H .x (8) Assumptions

a1) Any state x belongs to a compact set C$ C
With x = ( ~~ ) ;
nn (= n2) containing x = 0 as interior point, i.e.
3k I E n+ such that Ilxll ::; k l .
= [ a + b~ + cu ~] °
F(O , u) a2) The parameter belongs to a compact set C8
_ feu)
1] .
0 '
ofn 3 containing 00 as interior point , i.e. 3k 2 E n+
such that 1100 - 011 ::; k 2 .
Note that both the process speed (xr) and the drag-
H = [1 0] and ° (! = a ) is the vector of the
ging torque (x2)are naturally bounded in our ap-
plication . Therefore, assumption a1 is held. The
model parameters to be estimated . control u is also bounded and belongs to a compact
set n = [0 u mar ] =C n+ .
Furthermore, since the braking force corresponding
3 Identification to any finite speed and control value has a finite
value in practice, the coefficients a , b, and c of
In this section , we are concerned with the identifi- polynomial f( u) are bounded and assumption a2
cation of model parameters 0. Most of the works is consequently held.
that use an input-output approach to the modeling Since assumptions a1 and a2 are held in our appli-
of nonlinear systems employ the Volterra kernels cation, it follows the next proposition :
series representation [6] . The use of this method Proposition 1 For every c E n+ there exists a
is however restricted by the difficulty of obtaining small enough sampling period Of E n such that for
the Volterra kernels of practical systems. An algo- all 0 S 0< and for all x E C$:
rithm using input-output informations to establish 11 [e O. F (8 ,u) - (1 + o.F(O , u»] (x(k)11 Se
a polynomial state affine model for discrete time
nonlinear systems is proposed by Diaz et a1. in [4] .
Our purpose of here is to make use of the poly- r[e~1ce,u) - (1 + o.F(B , u»] (x(k»1I
nomial structure of the process theoretical model S lIeo.F(e ,u) - (1 + o.F(O , u»11 kl
in the identification process . Before dealing with
problem of model parameters estimation it seem a Since F(B, u) is bounded in the compact set Ce x n,
for small values of the sample period 0 a first order
good useless to explain the numerical integration
expansion of eo.F(e ,u) may be written:
scheme of continuous time process used in this ap-
plication. eo .F(e ,u) = 1 + o.F(B , u) + R(o) ;
With lim IIR(o)11 = 0 (10)
3.1 Choice of a sample period This result allows a choice of a classical Euler inte-
The diagram of the retained digital control is the gration scheme, provided that the sample period is
classical one depicted in Fig. 2. small enough .
For the eddy current process described above, the

. H zero order • ---..

Eddy current brake

choice of the sample rate f. = 1/0=40hertz gives
very satisfactory results .

holder ir-F(II)X
numericaJ exciting current
regulator speed
~-~ ...L
3.2 Parameter estimation
Fig.2. Process numerical control diagram
Our objective in this section is an evaluation of the
The state x(t) and the control u(t) are sampled at parameters a , b, and c of the polynomial f( u) de-
the same sampling period o. The 'exact' sampled- fined above. Let v be a constant input value of
data model [5], [7] corresponding to the continuous the process with model (8) ; from an initial state
model 8 can be writt'en as follows : Xi = ( X~l ) with XiI f. 0 the process output be-

xe(k + 1) ~
-- [ 1 + ~ (oF(O , .,U(k»)i] X.
havior may be described by the following model:
yet) = f(v)y(t) = (a + bv + cv 2 )y(t) ;
i=l ). with y(O) = Xil
= eOF(u(k» .x.(k) and Since v is assumed to be constant, equation is linear
y. = H .x • . and homogeneous with only one unknown parame-
(9) ter which is f(v) . For any fixed v value , a measure-
At the sampling instants , the state x.(k) of the 'ment of the corresponding output data sequence al-
model discrete-time model exactly coincides with lows an estimation of the unknown parameter f( v)

~--- ..- ...
corresponding to the input value v with the clas-
sical linear methods. The following identification
process is repeated:

i) an exciting i. = v E n
is applied on the input
(brake coil) of the process,
ii) a dragging torque is applied to bring the process

- .. -
speed to a wished initial value YIIO = YII(O) ,
iii) the dragging torque is cancelled and a N size
output sequence is recorded:
511 =[YII(l), YII(2), ... , Yv(N)]
• -
time in secorxls

The inpu_t se~ = {Vl, V2, .. . v p } is chosen such that
matrix MT M is invertible. where M is the p x 3 ---_......
matrix defined by:

- ' -1
Mii = vi :. = 1, 2 , ... p (11)
j = 1,2,3.
• M U U ~ U U U U U
With the output sequence Sv corresponding to any exciting current in Ampere
input value v E let define the vectors Xv and Y v Fig.3b
as follows : 4 Compensator design for speed
YII(O) + Yv(l) ) control
_ ~ YII(l) + Yv(2)
Xv - 2 :
( In this section, we propose two observer-based non-
Yv(N - 1) + Yv(N) linear control schemes in order to regulate the speed
and around a reference speed value Ye , while estimating
Yv(O) - Yv(l) ) the torque to compensate. The first control scheme
YII(l) - Yv(2) uses a dynamical feedback law in u and the second
Yv = one, a static feedback law in u.
( These control schemes are designed on the basis
Yv(N - 1) - YII(N) of the continuous-time model of the brake system
given by equation (7) :
Proposition 2 A least-squares estimation Bof the
parameter vector () is given by the following expres- Xl = f(U):Cl + X2
,;,nc j = ( !) i = [MT Mr' MTy Wh", M
X2 = 0
{ Y =:Cl
where :Cl is the system speed , u, the exciting cur-

is the p x 3 matrix defined above and Y is ap x 1 rent value and X2 , the torque , due to the exoge-
column vector defined by: nous system to be braked. In this model, X2 is sup-
Yi- = [T TYv•.I
Xv , XII. ]-1 Xv. posed to be constant or slowly time-varying, com-
t=1 ,2 , ... p
pared to the dynamics of the brake system. Ac-
The estimation procedure described in this section cording to eddy brake current model , feu) is given
was performed on the eddy current brake process of by feu) = a + bu + cu 2, where a < 0, b > 0 and
section 2. The identification algorithm computed c < O. This dynamical model is linear in state and
quadratic in the control input.
~he £(Oll~W)ing () (pa~:~:~r:)
() = b 0.02 4.1 A dynamical feedback scheme
C -0.017
And the corresponding state space model is given This control scheme is based on the idea of input-
by equation (8) with matrix F(e, u) replaced by: output linearization via feedback. As the system is
not affine in the control input, we add an integrator
F(B, u)=[j~U) ~].=[a+b~+cu2~] in order to obtain an affine state-space model:
so we have ~1=f(u):Cl+X2
= [-0.118 + O.O~u - O.0017u ~]
F(B, u) We u=v (13)
Y = Xl
simulated the response of this nonlinear model to a
random input sequence. The results are compared Then we apply linearization techniques by succes-
to the corresponding process output on Fig.3a. On sive time-derivatives of the output y :
fig:3b , polynomial j( u) is compared to the point- Y = :Cl
by-point measured values curve. iJ = f(U):Cl + X2 (14)
ii = v(b + 2CU):Cl + f(U)"2:Cl + f(U}X2

Consequently, a linearizing dynamical state-feedback \Ye need now to define the torque-observer. We
v may be given by: propose the following non linear obse.rver:

- f(u)2x1 - f(U)X2 +W
= v = --'--'-"'-;-:---::-'---':--''---- (15) £1 = f(U)X1 + X2 + L 1(y - y)
(b + 2CU)Xl £2 = L 2 (y - y) (22)
(15) leads to the following linear dynamics : ii = W
y = Xl
Now if we choose w = -Kl(Y - Ye) - K 2y, where where the gain matrix L = (L 1, L2)t is chosen in
Ye is the reference speed to be obtained, the closed- order that the eigenvalues of Ao - LC are stable ,
loop system has the following dynamics :
with Ao = (~ ~) and C = (1 0) . Under these
conditions , we can easily show that the estimation
Gains K1 and K2 are chosen such that the charac- error dynamics is asymptotically stable around the
teristic polynomial of (16) has asymptotically stable origin . (13) and (22) may be rewritten as follows:
The associated change of coordinates is given by: i: = Aox + Bf(u)Xl
y= Cx
Y =Xl (17)
if = f(U)X1 + X2
This change of coordinates is only locally defined , £ = Aox + Bf(u)Xl + L(y - y) (24)
because some states xi are not reachable, i.e. there y= Cx
does not exist u(t) , t ~ 0, such that Xl(Xl(O), u(t)) =
xi · where X = (Xl, X2)t . It follows that the error dy-
In order to illustrate this problem, we consider the namics is linear and given by: e = (Ao - LC)e
set E of the equilibrium points xH u O , X2) : where e = x-x . L is then chosen such that the
spectrum of Ao - LC is completely contained in the
E = {xU f (uO)xf + X2 = 0; X2 # O} open left half-plane .
= {xU~ = b2 - 4c(a +~) , ~ O} (18) We sum up the structure of the here-proposed con-
trol scheme , in the original coordinates:
where ~ is the discriminant of second degree equa-
r, = o. xi is an equilibrium
tion cu 2 + bu + a + !f u(t ) = u(O)+
point, if and only if there exists a real u e . This t [- f (U(T»2x1(T ) - f(U (T»X2 (T) + w(T)jdT
condition is met if and only if ~ ~ O. In this case,
ue =
-b ± ViS.
1o (b + 2CU)Xl (T)
W = -Kr(y - Ye) - K2(f(U)Xl + X2)
2c £1= f(U)Xl + 3: 2+ Ll(Y - y)
E is a subset of the reachable set R , defined by:
i2 = L 2 (y - y)
R {xi/3t ~ 0, 3u(t) E R ; Xl (Xl(O) , u(t» = xi}
y = Xl
Notice also that nonlinear feedback (15) is singular ,
(25 )
when Y = 0 or f( u) = 0, that represent a null
measure set . Proposition 3 The closed-loop system obtained from
In practice, both change of coordinates (17) and (25) and (22) is asymptotically stable in any invari-
feedback law (15) cannot be used directly because ant subset of the reachable set.
X2 is unknown. We will suppose now that a es-
timated value X2 of X2 is available , using an ap- Proof. Putting (21) and (22) together , we obtain
propriate observer which will be defined later. We the following state-space representation :
propose to consider the following modified change
of coordinates: i =Arz + D(u)e (26}
e= (Ao - LC)e
y= Xl
if =
f( U)X 1 + X2 = Y- Z2
where z = (y - Ye,·W , A = (~Kl ~K2) and
where Z2 = X2 - X2 . For the same reason , (15) is
modified as follows : D = (~ ~(U») . As both Ar and Ao - LC are
U = v = - j(u)2Xl - f(U)X2 +W (20) Hurwitz, there exist some positive-definite matrices
(b + 2CU)Xl P and 5 such that At P+ PA = -qr1d , "iqr > 0 and
(A o-LC)tS+S(Ao-LC) = -qold , "iqo > 0, where
After some simple calculations and using
Id is the identity matrix.
Introducing V = ~ztPz+~et Se and using (26) , we
tpe closed-loop system is given in the coordinates
(y , y) by : V = - ~qr 11 z nz - ~qo 11 e 112 +zt P De that may be
. rewritten as follows:
ii = -J(l(Y - Ye) - K2Y + (f(u) + K 2)Z2 (21)

b) static feedback scheme

~. = -~(ztet)M ( ; ) _ _ _ 1-'
Wh ere M = ( -Dt(u)P -PD(u) )
qold .
Consider now a invariant subset W of the reachable
= =
set of (26), containing z 0 and e 0, defined by:
W = {(z , e)/IIf(u)1I S f} We can show that there
always exist qr and qo such that M is a positive-
definite matrix. After simple calculations, we can
state that the eigenvalues of M are positive if qr < .. ..
lime in seconds
qo 1(Kl+l)2+Kj . . Fig.4b
~, where a = - K2 K2 . Then It IS al-

af 4 I 2 a) dynamical feedback scheme
ways possible, for all 1 to find qr > 0 and qo > 0
such that M is positive-definite. Asymptotic stabil-
ity follows from standard Lyapunov's stability the-

4.2 A static feedback scheme

This control scheme is based on the idea of lin-
earization of the term f( U)XI .
• » • • » • • •
Suppose that there exists u E R such that f( u )XI = ~

time in seconds
-K(Y-Ye)-X2 , with K > O. In this case, dynamics , Fig.4a
(12) becomes linear and asymptotically stable: Conclusion
The goal of this paper was to present a complete ap-
plication of nonlinear control design procedure , to
achievement a real process controller design . Mod-
eling and identification problems have been consid:-
As previously, Xz is unknown, so we need to intro- ered as well as compensator design for regulation
duce an observation 2:2 and to look for u, solution objectives . Application results obtained on an eddy
of f(u)xI =-K(Xl - Ye) - 2: 2. current brake process are included to illustrate the
modeling and the regulator design procedure.
Proposition 4 The dynamics of yet) - Ye obtained
from the following control scheme:
u(t) = -b ± ..fi5. References
A = b2 _ 4c(a + K(y - Ye) + 2:2» (lJ J.H. WOUTERSE; Critical torque of eddy current
brake with widely separated soft iron poles; lEE
. Y
Xl = f(U)Xl + 2:2 + Ll(y - y) Proceeding, Vol. 138, Pt . B, N° 4, July 1991.
i2 = L 2 (y - y) (2J K.VENKATARATNAM , M.S. ABDUL KADIR;
Y = Xl A nalysis and performance of eddy-current brake
is asymptotically stable around the origin, providing with lo.ss drums: Part 1 €3 Part !2; lEE Proceeding,
that yet) and X2 belong to subset W, defined by: Vol. 129, Pt. B, N° 3, Ma.y 1982.
W = iCy, x2)/b 2 _ 4c(a + K(y - Ye) + X2) > O}
Y - TEGOPOULOS; Eddy-current distribution in
cylindrical structures caused by rotating magnetic
Proof. Existence of some real-definite solutions fields ; lEE Proceeding, Vol. 129, Pt. B, N° 2,
of f(U)Xl = -K(y - Ye) - X2, with K > 0, di- March 1982.
rectly imposes trajectories yet) and X2 such that (4) H. DIAZ , A.A. DESROCHERS ; Modeling of non-
discriminant A of second degree equation eu 2 + linear discrete-time systems from input-output
K(y - Ye) + X2 . . . data ; Automatica, Vol.24 , N° 5, pp . 629-641,1988.
bu + a + = 0 IS positive or null,
y [5] S. MONACO, D. NORMAND - CYROT; Quelque$

l.e A
. ~ -_ b2 _ 4ca( + K(y - Ye) + X2) > 0 . Usmg' eliments sur la commande numerique non lineaire,
. y - Systemes non lineaires: 3. commande; Masson
observer (22) and separation principle, we can eas- 1993.
ily state that yet) converges asymptotically towards [6) Guy A. DUMONT, YE FU; Nonlinear adaptative
Ye' control via Laguerre expansion of Volterra kernels;
For a constant reference speed value Ye and a time- Inter. Journal of Adaptative Control and Signal
varying dragging torque, the regulation curves re- Processing, Vol. 7, 367-382, 1993.
sulting from the both dynamical and the static con- [7) A.M . GUILLAUME, G. BASTE, . G. CAMPION;
trol scheme are represented on fig Aa and figAb re- Discrete time adaptative control for a class of non-
spectively. linear continuous systems; IFAC Nonlinear Control
System Design, Capri, Italy 1989.