Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Thomas Alberts

Committee Member

Colin Britcher

Committee Member

Jeremiah Creedon

Committee Member

Brett Newman

Committee Member

Oscar R. Gonzalez


A comparative study of de-centralized and centralized controllers when used with real EMS Maglev Systems is introduced. This comparison is divided into two parts. Part I is concerned with numerical simulation and experimental testing on a two ton six-magnet EMS Maglev vehicle. Levitation and lateral control with these controllers individually and when including flux feedback control in combination with these controllers to enhance stability are introduced. The centralized controller is better than the de-centralized one when the system is exposed to a lateral disturbing force such as wind gusts. The flux feedback control when combined with de-centralized or centralized controllers does improve the stability and is more resistant and robust with respect to the air gap variations. Part II is concerned with the study of Maglev vehicle-girder dynamic interaction system and the comparison between these two controllers on this typical system based on performance and ride quality achieved. Numerical simulations of the ODU EMS Maglev vehicle interacting with girder are conducted with these two different controllers. The de-centralized and centralized control for EMS Maglev systems that interact with a flexible girder provides similar ride quality.