Development and Implementation of a Search and Locate Actuator System
Abstract: Over the last years, electrical roads have emerged as a cost effective and environmentally friendly solution towards a transportation system with less dependency on fossil fuels. This thesis presents the design of a search and locate system for road-bound conductive electrical roads with position control in two axes. The system is intended to find and follow the position of an electrified rail. The actuator system constitutes a firm groundwork for further research and development in this field. A laboratory test set up has been designed and both hardware and software parts have been constructed. The control of the system uses the CompactRIOTM technology from National Instruments. Results from the practical evaluation suggest that the non-linear characteristic of the system and the lack of direct position feedback from the motor rotation are the main causes of a non-accurate position control. Future development steps should focus on improving the mechanical design and include encoder feedback for the control loop as well as absolute automatic control with the incorporation of rail sensors.
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