Tim Deppen: Integrated Algorithms for Optimal Energy Use in Mobile Fluid Power Systems

deppen_timThis research aims to optimize the fuel efficiency of vehicles through intelligent integration of multiple power sources.  Fluid power is uniquely suited as a supplement to a traditional engine because of its high power to weight ratio and its ability to quickly store and release energy.  The actions of these power sources will be controlled by an energy management strategy which is formulated using a variety of methods, each with their own tradeoffs.  These methods include dynamic programming, stochastic dynamic programming, and model predictive control.  Ultimately, this work will culminate in the characterization of a spectrum of EMS design tools, enabling one to choose the design method which best suits their chosen application.

Nanjun Liu: Auto Tuning PID for Auto-trac Universal

liu_nanjunThe study is performed to automatically select proportional, integral and derivative gains for a John Deere ATU system.   An ATU system is a mobile guidance kit that could be mounted on multiple agricultural vehicles to realize automatic guidance. Currently, users of the ATU system face a challenge in tuning the PID gains for his particular application in order to gain satisfactory vehicle performances. The aim of the study is to automatically determine the optimized PID gains for vehicle guidance controller using sets of time maneuver tests.

Yangmin Xie: Header Height Control System for Combine Harvesters

xie_yangminThe objective of this project is to develop a robust advanced control system algorithm for the automatic header height systems on John Deere’s combines. Instead of traditional on-off controller, automotive control for header height is applied to change the height according to current working conditions and terrain shape. The challenges in the project involve underactuated system and output disturbance rejection.  Improvement of sensor system and correspondingly control algorithm are applied to adaptively maintain certain header height with high robustness, such that to improve heaviest efficiency and decrease grain loss.