This article proposes a novel control framework for active suspension systems by purposely employing beneficial nonlinearity and a useful disturbance effect for control performance enhancement. To this aim, a novel amplitude-limited PD-SMC control scheme is established to ensure a stable performance-oriented tracking control of the overall closed-loop system. Importantly, different from most existing control methods, the designed tracking controller purposely employs beneficial nonlinear stiffness and damping of a novel bioinspired reference model and deliberately utilizes useful disturbance response on the active suspension system, so as to improve the convergence speed and reduce control energy cost simultaneously. The asymptotic stability is theoretically proved by a rigorous Lyapunov-based analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this is a unique control scheme for active suspension systems which can technically take several critical control practice issues into account with guaranteed excellent performance simultaneously, including energy savings, actuator saturation, unexpected disturbances, etc. The superior performance is well validated with a series of experiments, and carefully compared to several existing control methods. The results of this study would definitely present a unique insight and an alternative approach to active controller designs via exploiting beneficial nonlinear and disturbance effects for better control performance and lower energy cost simultaneously.
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