Peak-seeking control of propulsion systems
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Propulsion systems like Turboprop engines are generally designed to operate at a narrow range of optimum steady state performance conditions. However, these conditions are likely to vary in an unpredictable manner according to factors such as components aging, structural damages or even the operating environment. Over time, inefficiencies could add up and can lead to expensive fuel consumption or faster component aging. This thesis presents a self-optimizing control scheme, referred as Peak-seeking control, applied to propulsion systems similar to Turboprop engines. Using an extended Kalman filter, the Peak-seeking method is able drive the system to an optimal condition based only on measurements. No prior knowledge of the engine dynamics is required which make the Peak-seeking technique easy to implement and also allow for modularity in the engine design. This study is performed on both a turboprop and a DC motor driving a variable pitch propeller and considers several performance functions to optimize.