This paper develops a stabilizing observer-based feedback linearizing controller for a single-axis electromagnetic suspension. The controller uses only the measured output of the system, and is shown to be robust with respect to parameter uncertainty. The controller differs from other robust feedback linearizing controllers that have appeared in recent literature, because it is continuous, and non-adaptive. Lyapunov’s second method is used to prove stability and robustness of the controller. The controller has a simple structure and its gains are determined by solving two weakly coupled Riccati equations. Numerical simulations are performed to compare a linear feedback controller and the observer-based feedback linearizing controller. Results obtained demonstrate that the nonlinear controller yields superior performance when compared with the linear feedback controller. The controller synthesis technique developed in this paper is applicable to other fully feedback linearizable systems, not just electromagnetic suspensions.

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