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High integrity actuation system with embedded intelligence

TSB Technology Programme Grant, PI – Professor T X Mei, in collaboration with Intelligent Motion Control, Stored Energy Technology and Total Motion Systems

The provision of actuation in safety critical control systems normally demands a high level of hardware redundancies with the use of multiple actuators, sensors and electronics in order to meet the strict system integrity requirement. The actuators tend to be far more expensive in control systems than the sensors and electronics and are more difficult to tackle with conventional analytical redundant approaches. In many cases, the prospect of the much increased cost often delays or even prohibits practical applications of advanced technologies which would otherwise provide much needed performance gains, efficiency improvement and other savings.

The key research of this project is to develop a practical solution that will provide the necessary control actions (i.e. actuation) and in the mean time satisfy the expected safety and reliability requirements, but minimize the use of hardware redundancies to reduce the component count in the use of actuators and associated controls. The project aims to meet the difficult challenges through the intelligent exploitation of the inherent properties of electric actuators and integrated FDI and control methods.

The Principle Investigator at Salford University was the initiator of the project and has provided the original ideas which the project is based on. The University of Salford is the only academic partner, responsible for driving the technology and for providing critical research input.

The project is funded by TSB (Technology Strategy Board, UK) through their Technology Programme Grant and supported by industrial partners.