Active control of an innovative seat suspension system with acceleration measurement based friction estimation
In this paper, an innovative active seat suspension system for vehicles is presented. This seat suspension prototype is built with two low cost actuators each of which has one rotary motor and one gear reducer. A H∞ controller with friction compensation is designed for the seat suspension control system where the friction is estimated and compensated based on the measurement of seat acceleration. This principal aim of this research was to control the low frequency vibration transferred or amplified by the vehicle (chassis) suspension, and to maintain the passivity of the seat suspension at high frequency (isolation vibration) while taking into consideration the trade-off between the active seat suspension cost and its high frequency performance. Sinusoidal excitations of 1-4.5 Hz were applied to test the active seat suspension both when controlled and when uncontrolled and this is compared with a well-tuned passive heavy duty vehicle seat suspension. The results indicate the effectiveness of the proposed control algorithm within the tested frequencies. Further tests were conducted using the excitations generated from a quarter-car model under bump and random road profiles. The bump road tests indicate the controlled active seat suspension has good transient response performance. The Power Spectral Density (PSD) method and ISO 2631-1 standards were applied to analyse the seat suspension's acceleration under random road conditions. Although some low magnitude and high frequency noise will inevitably be introduced by the active system, the weighted-frequency Root Mean Square (RMS) acceleration shows that this may not have a large effect on ride comfort. In fact, the ride comfort is improved from being an 'a little uncomfortable' to a 'not uncomfortable' level when compared with the well-tuned passive seat suspension. This low cost active seat suspension design and the proposed controller with the easily measured feedback signals are very practical for real applications.