Based on a reduced order state-space model of an MBC 500 magnetic bearing system with fixed shaft (i.e. non rotating), two different observer-based digital controllers are designed to regulate the shaft. One is a robust linear pole-placement controller, and the other is a sliding mode controller. Each controller’s performance is mathematically analyzed. Using a more representative higher order model of the fixed shaft, the controllers are numerically simulated to ensure stable operation. Then, the controllers are digitally implemented on an MBC 500 benchmark. Controller performance is compared by introducing un-modeled dynamics — in particular, continuous rotation of the shaft. Regulation performance is examined over a range of different rotation rates.

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