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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Vibration isolation active control techniques and testing in a micro-gravity environment Boulet, Jason


Since orbitting space stations do not provide a perfect micro-gravity environment, vibration isolation techniques must be employed for sensitive experiments, such as crystal growing. A non-contact approach using magnetic levitation for active vibration isolation has been developed previously that can be used in all micro-gravity situations. Using advanced controller techniques, it should be possible to lower the stiffness of the magnetic coupling below levels achievable by PID control. This thesis examines controlling magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) for improved vibration isolation on Earth and in a micro-gravity environment. Lorentz forces are used to levitate a large platform holding the application in an experimental system using this MAGLEV technology. This technology is described and two designs of it's application are presented. Vibration control techniques are investigated, with and Q-parameterization algorithms explained and employed in active control in a normal gravity environment. A smaller magnetically levitated wrist device is then described and employed in a coarse-fine approach to isolating acceleration disturbances in the microgravity environment provided by NASA's DC-9 performing parabolic flights. Results of the testing done on the flight is given and analyzed.

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