Real-time Control Systems

  • The key expertise for real-time control systems 

    We have expertise in development of real-time control systems for control of actuators and running complex testing processes. The development requires expertise in 

    • real-time control,
    • servo hydraulic control,
    • sensors,
    • electronic interfaces,
    • software.

    Our expertise in multi-discipline engineering (control technology, electronics, software programming, mechanics, structures) is the key of the development.

     

    Why real-time control?

    In control of an experiment where time-depending physical quantities are involved, the physical phenomenon should be reproduced in real-time manner, meaning to be exact the same time scale with the real word. For example, time-depending forces such as inertial forces and inertial moments in vibration systems (dynamics of actuators, vibration of specimen in considering mass effects, etc), rate-depending forces in dampers, etc. are physically tested by vibration tests.

     

    Real-time control of servo hydraulic actuator for testing nonlinear specimens

    In a real-time digital control system, all tasks perform their actions with an time accuracy in level of a clock pulse which counts the time in the system. Real-time controllers have their accompanied real-time operating systems that allow developers to code their real-time applications.

     

    Real-time control of dynamic shaker for testing satellite

    Our real-time control solution 

    A typical real-time control system integrates

    • a real-time digital control hardware,
    • actuators, 
    • sensors,
    • electronic interfaces,
    • and more important, an advanced control program which is programmed on computer and runs in the real-time hardware.

    Based on the advanced real-time controllers ADwin (Jäger Computergesteuerte Messtechnik GmbH) and NI RIO (National Instruments), we provide complete control systems for measuring, testing and control. This includes

    • provide solution for the required control system,
    • select appropriate digital control hardware,
    • select the necessary instrument of sensors, signal conditioners, signal transmitters, adapters, etc.
    • integrate components,
    • customize a real-time control software for the specific application.

    Being efficient for most of real-time applications, our real-time digital control solutions have great features:

    • wide range of available performance capabilities,
    • wide range of available hardware modules for different inputs and outputs,
    • highly precise in real-time control,
    • highly reliable in system performance,
    • excellent technical supports from the manufacturers,
    • cost effective.

    Real-time platform

    Number of closed loops

    Inputs Outputs Control frequency DAQ channels Features

    ADwin

    cRIO

    1-64 Types: IEPE, strain, LVDT, variable resistors, voltage, current; ADC: 14 , 16, 18, 24 bits Types: voltage, current, relay, digital;

     

    DAC: 14, 16, 18 bits

    typical frequency: 10 kHz – 20 kHz (max. to 100 kHz) 1-256 complex systems, multi control loops, adaptive and smart control

    Our real-time control system can control either hydraulic actuators (servo hydraulic actuators, multi hydraulic actuators, hydraulic shaking tables, our distributed servo universal testing machines) or electrodynamic actuators (modal shakers, large electrodynamic shaker systems).

    Hydraulic actuators can provide large ranges of forces, long displacements at relatively low frequencies (DC to hundred Hz or lower). Hydraulic actuators are commonly used for dynamic tests of structures under traffic loads, wind loads, earthquake loads

    Real-time control of servo hydraulic actuator for testing nonlinear specimens

    For dynamic tests of mechanical components or satellite in aerospace and defense engineering, a wider range of frequencies (up to 2 kHz or 4 kHz) is usually required, thus electrodynamic shakers are used.

    Real-time control of dynamic shaker for testing satellite

    Such fast real-time tests require that the real-time control loops running at high frequency (eg. higher than 10 kHz, at least five times higher than the considered frequency 2 kHz) like our control solution which can be higher than 100 kHz.

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