Anti-Lock Braking Sensors
The role of the ABS is to control the wheel speed in order to prevent the wheels from locking and to assure a maximum braking force. This is of major importance when the runway is slippery or very short. Wheel moment of inertia, Rotational wheel speed, Friction coefficient, Wheel Radius Normal force per wheel Friction force, Aircraft speed Figure 1b: are analogous to the above vehicle wheel shown. Forces acting on a braked wheel are shown in fig1b.The ABS commands the brake pressure as a function of the difference between the measured and the reference wheel speed.
The latter is calculated from the measured aircraft speed and the desired wheel slips, using equation. At the moment, when the pilot pushes the brake pedal the brake pressure and the wheel slip increase provoking a ground force between tyre and runway. Assuming the case of full braking, the ABS will control the wheel speed to its reference value. To achieve a maximum braking force the reference slip should be chosen close to the optimum slip. However, when the pressure level in the brakes becomes too high, the wheel slip slides beyond the optimum of the adhesion curve and the system tyre/runway becomes instable.
The slope of u (s) being negative, the wheel immediately starts to lock. In this case, the ABS rapidly releases the brake pressure to force the wheel speed back to the stable side of the adhesion curve. In fact, this situation occurs, when either the desired slip s, has been chosen on the instable side of the friction characteristic, or when a sudden change in ground force is encountered (e.g. a transition from a dry to a wet runway surface). The principle problem in ABS design is that the optimum slip and the exact shape of the adhesion characteristic depend on the runway surface and further parameters, which cannot be measured, such as the condition of the tyres or the dynamics of the normal forces. Bearing in mind that the optimum slip value may vary between 3% and 20%, it is clear that the choice of the reference slip value is crucial for a safe and efficient ABS. If it is too small the braking force might become insufficient, if it is too high, wheel lockup occurs.
Recently there has been a growing interest in intelligent control techniques for the design of aircraft and road vehicle Antilock Brake Systems (ABS). In particular, rule-based, fuzzy logic controllers have been applied to this problem and successfully tested in simulation. In fact, the use of non-linear, fuzzy control techniques appears to be particularly appropriate for the ABS control problem because of the high non-linearity of the system and the lack of a precise physical model of the friction force between tyre and runway. In addition to that, the controller must operate at an unstable equilibrium point to achieve an optimal braking performance. The most important problem in ABS control design - fuzzy or conventional - is that the optimum adhesion coefficient varies significantly with the surface condition (i.e. dry, wet, icy, etc.) of the runway. Because the latter is unknown, it is extremely difficult to define a controller that guaranties an optimal braking performance for all types of runway conditions.
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