The Quanser Magnetic Levitation (MAGLEV) is a single degree of freedom electromagnet-based system that allows users to levitate a ball vertically up and down. This classic electro-mechanical experiment with interesting nonlinear dynamics and control challenges is ideal for teaching modeling, linearization, current control, position control, and using multiple loops (i.e. cascade control). Using the system, students learn how to:
In addition to teaching control concepts, the Magnetic Levitation can be used for research in various areas, including such as mutli-variable, gain scheduling, and nonlinear control.
How It Works
The Magnetic Levitation is an electromagnetic suspension system acting on a solid one-inch steel ball. The electromagnet, located at the upper part of the device, is capable of lifting the steel ball from its pedestal and sustaining it in free space. The electromagnet is made of a solenoid coil with a steel core. One of the electromagnet poles faces the top of a post on which the ball rests. The ball elevation from the top of the post is measured using a photo-sensitive sensor embedded in the post. When the ball rests on top of the post, the air gap between the top hemisphere of the ball and the electromagnet pole face is 14 mm. The post also provides repeatable initial conditions for control system performance evaluation.
The bottom section of the Magnetic Levitation device houses the system's conditioning circuitry for the light intensity position sensor. Both offset and gain potentiometers of the ball position sensor are readily available for proper calibration. A current sense resistor provides coil current measurement.
The Maglev system comes with Quanser-developed courseware standardized for ABET evaluation criteria. The workbook with exercises, together with quick start resources, a comprehensive User Manual, pre-designed controllers and a system model allow you to get your lab running faster, saving months of time typically required to develop lab materials.
Topics included in the Quanser-developed courseware:
To set up your Magnetic Levitation workstation, you need additional components. Quanser engineers recommend:
¹ alternatively, you can use Q8-USB, QPIDe or any equivalent NI DAQ device supported by QUARC
² NI cRIO-9074, or NI cRIO-9024 with cRIO-9113 or cRIO-9114 chassis
³ NI DAQ device must be supported by Quanser RCP toolkit. Alternatively, you can use Quanser Q2-USB, Q8-USB, or QPIDe