Mechanical Engineering The University of Adelaide Australia

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Robotics Group

School of Mechanical

SA 5005

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A miniature pressure regulator for pneumatically actuated robotics Projects by Frank Wornle Design of an autonomous mobile robot for experiments on multi-agent systems
Project Picture
Photo of Danielle Moreau

Danielle Moreau

Photo of Pamela Woods

Pamela Woods

Design and build of a thruster controlled model of a Large flexible Space Station (LSS)

Danielle Moreau, Pamela Woods, George Osborne and Frank Wornle

Keywords: large flexible structures, active vibration control, pneumatic thrusters

(Commenced: 01-Jan-2005,Concluded: 01-Jan-2006)

Large space structures (LSS) such as the International Space Station (ISS) are often subjected to pronounced low-frequency vibrations. This is due to an elevated level of mechanical flexibility, caused by the use of materials with relatively low rigidity as well as the often considerable extension of these structures. Active vibration control methods can be used to damp out undesirable structural vibrations.

At the centre of this honours project is the design and build of a model of a large space structure such as the ISS which can be used for the study of adaptive on-line system identification methods and vibration control. The structure currently consists of a large flexible truss; future extensions might incorporate side arms, solar panels, docking bays and/or laboratory cells. An adaptive system identification algorithms is used to allow for structural extensions and modification without having to re-model the entire structure. The vibrations are suppressed using a model predictive control strategy.

Miniature shakers are used to purposely excite the structure to a number of vibrational modes. Two miniature thrusters have been designed and are used as actuators (jet engines); future extensions might consider pneumatically controlled structural members and/or piezo-electric actuators. The latter could also be used to sense the vibrations, thereby eliminating the need for the currently used accelerometers.

The controller has been developped using MATLAB/Simulink. It is presently being converted to a real-time program to be run on a Digital Signal Processing (DSP) board.

The following two final year Mechatronics students are presently working on this project: Danielle Moreau and Pamela Woods.