Fault-Tolerant Homopolar Magnetic Bearings Conference Paper uri icon


  • Magnetic suspensions (MS) satisfy the long life and low loss conditions demanded by satellite and ISS based flywheels used for Attitude Control and Energy Storage (ACES) service. This paper summarizes the development of a novel MS that improves reliability via fault tolerant operation. Specifically, flux coupling between poles of a homopolar magnetic bearing is shown to deliver desired forces even after termination of coil currents to a subset of "failed poles". Linear, coordinate decoupled force-voltage relations are also maintained before and after failure by bias linearization. Current distribution matrices (CDM) which adjust the currents and fluxes following a pole set failure are determined for many faulted pole combinations. The CDM's and the system responses are obtained utilizing 1D magnetic circuit models with fringe and leakage factors derived from detailed, 3D, finite element field models. Reliability results are presented vs. detection/correction delay time and individual power amplifier reliability for 4, 6, and 7 pole configurations. Reliability is shown for two "success" criteria, i.e. (a) no catcher bearing contact following pole failures and (b) re-levitation off of the catcher bearings following pole failures. An advantage of the method presented over other redundant operation approaches is a significantly reduced requirement for backup hardware such as additional actuators or power amplifiers. © 2003 by MING-HSIU LI.

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, M., Palazzolo, A. B., Kenny, A., Provenza, A. J., Beach, R. F., & Kascak, A. F.

citation count

  • 19

publication date

  • September 2004