Asee peer logo

Development And Control Of A Prototype Pneumatic Active Suspension System

Download Paper |


2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.211.1 - 5.211.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Winfred K Anakwa

author page

Scott Jones

author page

Scott Garrett

author page

Ron Rio

author page

Li Chen

author page

John Bush

author page

Jixiang Sheng

author page

George Anglin

author page

Dion Thomas

author page

Dale Green

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1432

Development and Control of a Prototype Pneumatic Active Suspension System

Winfred K.N. Anakwa, Dion Thomas, Scott Jones, Jon Bush, Dale Green, George Anglin, Ron Rio, Jixiang Sheng, Scott Garrett and Li Chen. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering Bradley University Peoria, IL 61625


Real physical plants for control experimentation are valuable tools in a control laboratory. This paper describes a prototype pneumatic active suspension system, which was designed and built over a number of years as a sequence of student projects. The physical plant, which models a quarter-car suspension, consists of a wheel, coil springs, a pneumatic actuator for active damping, position and velocity sensors, and an AC motor for simulating road disturbance input signal. An electronic subsystem is used to process the sensor signals which are sent to a Motorola 68HC16 microcontroller-based evaluation board. The microcontroller controls a 4-bit automatic binary regulator which controls airflow to the pneumatic actuator for damping. A mathematical model of the suspension system was derived analytically and validated experimentally. Matlab and Simulink were used to analyze and design a digital state feedback plus integral controller for the system. The digital controller was implemented on a Motorola 68HC16 microcontroller. The controller was able to reject a physically generated 0.01143m negative step road disturbance input. The details of the design construction, modeling, analysis, computer simulation, controller implementation and experimental results are presented.

I. Introduction

In order for students to gain experience in design and construction of a physical plant, as well as control experimentation, a decision was made in the fall of 1990 to build a prototype pneumatic active suspension system as a student project. The suspension system was selected at that time because the automotive industry was seriously considering implementation of active suspension systems on automobiles1-8. A quarter-car model was selected because it would be feasible to test in a laboratory environment. Pneumatic actuation was chosen instead of hydraulic actuation to avoid the possibility of oil spill in the laboratory. The design, construction and the physical structure are presented in section II, and the associated sensors and actuator electronics are covered in section III. The mathematical modeling, computer simulation and experimental validation of the

Anakwa, W. K., & Jones, S., & Garrett, S., & Rio, R., & Chen, L., & Bush, J., & Sheng, J., & Anglin, G., & Thomas, D., & Green, D. (2000, June), Development And Control Of A Prototype Pneumatic Active Suspension System Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8286

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015