In this paper, a disturbance observer based Takagi-Sugeno (TS) fuzzy controller is proposed for an active seat suspension; both simulations and experiments have been performed verifying the performance enhancement and stability of the proposed controller. The controller incorporates closed-loop feedback control using the measured acceleration of the seat and deflection of the suspension; these two variables can be easily measured in practical applications, thus allowing the proposed controller to be robust and adaptable. A disturbance observer that can estimate the disturbance caused by friction, model simplification, and controller output error has also been used to compensate a H¿ state feedback controller. The TS fuzzy control method is applied to enhance the controller's performance by considering the variation of driver's weight during operation. The vibration of a heavy duty vehicle seat is largest in the frequency range between 2 Hz and 4 Hz, in the vertical direction; therefore, it is reasonable to focus on controlling low frequency vibration amplitudes and maintain the seat suspensions passivity at high frequency. Moreover, both the simulation and experimental results show that the active seat suspension with the proposed controller can effectively isolate unwanted vibration amplitudes below 4.5 Hz, when compared with a well-tuned passive seat suspension. The active controller has been further validated under bump and random road tests with both a 55 kg and a 70 kg loads. The bump road test demonstrated the controller has good transient response capabilities. The random road test result has been presented both in the time domain and the frequency domain. When with the above two loads, the controlled seat suspensions root-mean-square (RMS) accelerations were reduced by 45.5% and 49.5%, respectively, compared with a well-tuned passive seat suspension. The proposed active seat suspension controller has great potential and is very practical for application as it can significantly improve heavy duty driver's ride comfort.
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