Closed-loop magnetic bearing and angular velocity control of a reaction sphere actuator
This article presents the first closed-loop magnetic bearing and angular velocity experimental results of a reaction sphere actuator for satellite attitude control. The proposed reaction sphere is a permanent magnet spherical actuator whose rotor is supported by magnetic bearing and can be torqued electronically about any desired axis. The spherical actuator is composed of an 8-pole permanent magnet spherical rotor and of a 20-pole stator with electromagnets. The electromechanical model of the reaction sphere is summarized together with procedures to estimate the rotor magnetic state, the back-EMF voltage, and the rotor angular velocity, which are all fundamental ingredients for controller design. Dynamic controllers are developed to levitate the rotor inside the stator (magnetic bearing) and to control the rotor angular velocity. The magnetic bearing is based on a state-space controller with reduced-order displacement velocity estimator whereas the angular velocity controller is a simple proportional controller with a dedicated angular velocity estimator. The developed control algorithms are experimentally validated using the developed laboratory prototype showing the ability of simultaneously levitating the rotor while rotating it about a given arbitrary axis.