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The problem of vessel collisions or near-collision situations on sea, often caused by human error due to incomplete or overwhelming information, is becoming more and more important with rising maritime traffic. Approaches to supply navigators and Vessel Traffic Services with expert knowledge and suggest trajectories for all vessels to avoid collisions, are often aimed at situations where a single planner guides all vessels with perfect information. In contrast, we suggest a two-part procedure which plans trajectories using a specialised A* and negotiates trajectories until a solution is found, which is acceptable for all vessels. The solution obeys collision avoidance rules, includes a dynamic model of all vessels and negotiates trajectories to optimise globally without a global planner and extensive information disclosure. The procedure combines all components necessary to solve a multi-vessel encounter and is tested currently in simulation and on several test beds. The first results show a fast converging optimisation process which after a few negotiation rounds already produce feasible, collision free trajectories.

Sensorlose Positionsregelung eines hydraulischen Proportional-Wegeventils mittels Signalinjektion
(2017)

Es wird eine Methode zur sensorlosen Positionsbestimmung bei elektromagnetisch betätigten Aktoren vorgestellt. Dabei werden basierend auf einer Signalinjektion die positionsabhängigen Parameter bei der injizierten Frequenz bestimmt und daraus über ein geeignetes Modell die Position des Magnetankers ermittelt. Die Eignung des Verfahrens zur sensorlosen Positionsregelung wird an einem bidirektionalen Proportionalventil anhand praktischer Versuche demonstriert.

A constructive nonlinear observer design for self-sensing of digital (ON/OFF) single coil electromagnetic actuators is studied. Self-sensing in this context means that solely the available energizing signals, i.e., coil current and driving voltage are used to estimate the position and velocity trajectories of the moving plunger. A nonlinear sliding mode observer is considered, where the stability of the reduced error dynamics is analyzed by the equivalent control method. No simplifications are made regarding magnetic saturation and eddy currents in the underlying dynamical model. The observer gains are constructed by taking into account some generic properties of the systems nonlinearities. Two possible choices of the observer gains are discussed. Furthermore, an observer-based tracking control scheme to achieve sensorless soft landing is considered and its closed-loop stability is studied. Experimental results for observer-based soft landing of a fast-switching solenoid valve under dry conditions are presented to demonstrate the usefulness of the approach.

A constructive method for the design of nonlinear observers is discussed. To formulate conditions for the construction of the observer gains, stability results for nonlinear singularly perturbed systems are utilised. The nonlinear observer is designed directly in the given coordinates, where the error dynamics between the plant and the observer becomes singularly perturbed by a high-gain part of the observer injection, and the information of the slow manifold is exploited to construct the observer gains of the reduced-order dynamics. This is in contrast to typical high-gain observer approaches, where the observer gains are chosen such that the nonlinearities are dominated by a linear system. It will be demonstrated that the considered approach is particularly suited for self-sensing electromechanical systems. Two variants of the proposed observer design are illustrated for a nonlinear electromagnetic actuator, where the mechanical quantities, i.e. the position and the velocity, are not measured

Standardmäßig werden zur Modellierung magnetischer Systeme für regelungstechnische Anwendungen oder im Bereich der Diagnose und Prognose konzentriert parametrische Modelle verwendet. Falls eine hohe Qualität der Prozessabbildung erforderlich ist, z.B. um Wirbelströme oder Sättigung geeignet zu berücksichtigen, nehmen diese Modelle schnell relativ hohe Ordnungen an. Es ist seit einiger Zeit bekannt, dass verteilparametrische Systeme, die z.B. (Feld-)Diffusionsprozesse beinhalten, durch niederdimensionale Modelle mit nicht ganzzahligen Ableitungen, so genannte fraktionale Modelle, sehr gut abgebildet werden können. Im Bereich der magnetischen Aktuatoren wurden diese vor rund 10 Jahren zum ersten Mal untersucht. Seitdem wird auf diesem Gebiet in verschiedenen Arbeitsgruppen geforscht. Während im Frequenzbereich die Handhabung fraktionaler Systeme einfach ist, sind Anwendungen im Zeitbereich bisher insbesondere bei zeitkritischen Anwendungen kaum anzutreffen. Der Beitrag stellt die prinzipielle Idee dar und zeigt Möglichkeiten zum Einsatz dieser Verfahren im Bereich magnetischer Aktoren auf. In einer konkreten Anwendung wird in Simulation und Experiment demonstriert, wie mit Hilfe dieser Modelle Zustandsschätzung in Magnetaktuatoren erfolgen kann und welche Vorteile sich dadurch ergeben.

This paper describes an early lumping approach for generating a mathematical model of the heating process of a moving dual-layer substrate. The heat is supplied by convection and nonlinearly distributed over the whole considered spatial extend of the substrate. Using CFD simulations as a reference, two different modelling approaches have been investigated in order to achieve the most suitable model type. It is shown that due to the possibility of using the transition matrix for time discretization, an equivalent circuit model achieves superior results when compared to the Crank-Nicolson method. In order to maintain a constant sampling time for the in-visioned-control strategies, the effect of variable speed is transformed into a system description, where the state vector has constant length but a variable number of non-zero entries. The handling of the variable transport speed during the heating process is considered as the main contribution of this work. The result is a model, suitable for being used in future control strategies.

In this paper, utilisation of an Unscented Kalman Filter for concurrently performing disturbance estimation and wave filtering is investigated. Experimental results are provided that demonstrate very good performance subject to both tasks. For the filter, a dynamic model has been used which was optimised via correlation analysis in order to obtain a minimum set of relevant parameters. This model has also been validated by experiments deploying a small vessel. A simulation study is presented to evaluate the performance using known quantities. Experimental trials have been performed on the Rhine river. The results show that for instance flow direction and varying current velocities can continuously be estimated with decent precision, even while the boat is performing turning manoeuvres. Moreover, the filtering properties are very satisfactory. This makes the filter suitable for being used, for instance, in autonomous vessel applications or assistance systems.

Knowing the position of the spool in a solenoid valve, without using costly position sensors, is of considerable interest in a lot of industrial applications. In this paper, the problem of position estimation based on state observers for fast-switching solenoids, with sole use of simple voltage and current measurements, is investigated. Due to the short spool traveling time in fast-switching valves, convergence of the observer errors has to be achieved very fast. Moreover, the observer has to be robust against modeling uncertainties and parameter variations. Therefore, different state observer approaches are investigated, and compared to each other regarding possible uncertainties. The investigation covers a High-Gain-Observer approach, a combined High-Gain Sliding-Mode-Observer approach, both based on extended linearization, and a nonlinear Sliding-Mode-Observer based on equivalent output injection. The results are discussed by means of numerical simulations for all approaches, and finally physical experiments on a valve-mock-up are thoroughly discussed for the nonlinear Sliding-Mode-Observer.

A semilinear distributed parameter approach for solenoid valve control including saturation effects
(2015)

In this paper a semilinear parabolic PDE for the control of solenoid valves is presented. The distributed parameter model of the cylinder becomes nonlinear by the inclusion of saturation effects due to the material's B/H-curve. A flatness based solution of the semilinear PDE is shown as well as a convergence proof of its series solution. By numerical simulation results the adaptability of the approach is demonstrated, and differences between the linear and the nonlinear case are discussed. The major contribution of this paper is the inclusion of saturation effects into the magnetic field governing linear diffusion equation, and the development of a flatness based solution for the resulting semilinear PDE as an extension of previous works [1] and [2].

Sliding-mode observation with iterative parameter adaption for fast-switching solenoid valves
(2016)

Control of the armature motion of fast-switching solenoid valves is highly desired to reduce noise emission and wear of material. For feedback control, information of the current position and velocity of the armature are necessary. In mass production applications, however, position sensors are unavailable due to cost and fabrication reasons. Thus, position estimation by measuring merely electrical quantities is a key enabler for advanced control, and, hence, for efficient and robust operation of digital valves in advanced hydraulic applications. The work presented here addresses the problem of state estimation, i.e., position and velocity of the armature, by sole use of electrical measurements. The considered devices typically exhibit nonlinear and very fast dynamics, which makes observer design a challenging task. In view of the presence of parameter uncertainty and possible modeling inaccuracy, the robustness properties of sliding mode observation techniques are deployed here. The focus is on error convergence in the presence of several sources for modeling uncertainty and inaccuracy. Furthermore, the cyclic operation of switching solenoids is exploited to iteratively correct a critical parameter by taking into account the norm of the observation error of past switching cycles of the process. A thorough discussion on real-world experimental results highlights the usefulness of the proposed state observation approach.

Small vessels or unmanned surface vehicles only have a limited amount of space and energy available. If these vessels require an active sensing collision avoidance system it is often not possible to mount large sensor systems like X-Band radars. Thus, in this paper an energy efficient automotive radar and a laser range sensor are evaluated for tracking surrounding vessels. For these targets, those type of sensors typically generate more than one detection per scan. Therefore, an extended target tracking problem has to be solved to estimate state end extension of the vessels. In this paper, an extended version of the probabilistic data association filter that uses random matrices is applied. The performance of the tracking system using either radar or laser range data is demonstrated in real experiments.

Probabilistic data association for tracking extended targets under clutter using random matrices
(2015)

The use of random matrices for tracking extended objects has received high attention in recent years. It is an efficient approach for tracking objects that give rise to more than one measurement per time step. In this paper, the concept of random matrices is used to track surface vessels using highresolution automotive radar sensors. Since the radar also receives a large number of clutter measurements from the water, for the data association problem, a generalized probabilistic data association filter is applied. Additionally, a modification of the filter update step is proposed to incorporate the Doppler velocity measurements. The presented tracking algorithm is validated using Monte Carlo Simulation, and some performance results with real radar data are shown as well.

One major realm of Condition Based Maintenance is finding features that reflect the current health state of the asset or component under observation. Most of the existing approaches are accompanied with high computational costs during the different feature processing phases making them infeasible in a real-world scenario. In this paper a feature generation method is evaluated compensating for two problems: (1) storing and handling large amounts of data and (2) computational complexity. Both aforementioned problems are existent e.g. when electromagnetic solenoids are artificially aged and health indicators have to be extracted or when multiple identical solenoids have to be monitored. To overcome those problems, Compressed Sensing (CS), a new research field that keeps constantly emerging into new applications, is employed. CS is a data compression technique allowing original signal reconstruction with far fewer samples than Shannon-Nyquist dictates, when some criteria are met. By applying this method to measured solenoid coil current, raw data vectors can be reduced to a way smaller set of samples that yet contain enough information for proper reconstruction. The obtained CS vector is also assumed to contain enough relevant information about solenoid degradation and faults, allowing CS samples to be used as input to fault detection or remaining useful life estimation routines. The paper gives some results demonstrating compression and reconstruction of coil current measurements and outlines the application of CS samples as condition monitoring data by determining deterioration and fault related features. Nevertheless, some unresolved issues regarding information loss during the compression stage, the design of the compression method itself and its influence on diagnostic/prognostic methods exist.

In extended object tracking, a target is capable to generate more than one measurement per scan. Assuming the target being of elliptical shape and given a point cloud of measurements, the Random Matrix Framework can be applied to concurrently estimate the target’s dynamic state and extension. If the point cloud contains also clutter measurements or origins from more than one target, the data association problem has to be solved as well. However, the well-known joint probabilistic data association method assumes that a target can generate at most one detection. In this article, this constraint is relaxed, and a multi-detection version of the joint integrated probabilistic data association is proposed. The data association method is then combined with the Random Matrix framework to track targets with elliptical shape. The final filter is evaluated in the context of tracking smaller vessels using a high resolution radar sensor. The performance of the filter is shown in simulation and in several experiments.

An approach for an adaptive position-dependent friction estimation for linear electromagnetic actuators with altered characteristics is proposed in this paper. The objective is to obtain a friction model that can be used to describe different stages of aging of magnetic actuators. It is compared to a classical Stribeck friction model by means of model fit, sensitivity, and parameter correlation. The identifiability of the parameters in the friction model is of special interest since the model is supposed to be used for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. A method based on the Fisher information matrix is employed to analyze the quality of the model structure and the parameter estimates.