CE106 - Experiment

BALL AND BEAM APPARATUS

A compact self-contained bench mounting apparatus designed to allow students at all academic levels to investigate basic and advanced principles of control including control of naturally unstable systems.

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The Ball and Beam Apparatus shows the control problems of unstable systems, for example a rocket or missile during launch, which needs active control to prevent the missile going unstable and toppling over. 

The apparatus has a steel ball which is free to roll on two parallel tensioned wires. The wires are on a beam that pivots at its centre. A servo motor controls the beam angle and sensors measure the beam angle and ball position. 

The basic control problem is to vary the beam angle to control the ball position. The system is a double integrator, so it is naturally unstable. It needs active feedback control using phase-advance methods.

  • Measurement of system dynamics by transient and closed-loop methods
  • Design of analogue phase-advance compensators
  • Design of state reconstructors to obtain estimates of ball velocity and position
CE120 - Base Unit

A self-contained analogue and computer based controller designed to support practical investigations into the basic and advanced principles of control engineering at all academic levels.

CE122 - Base Unit

A self-contained computer based controller designed to support practical investigations into the basic and advanced principles of control engineering at all academic levels.