SBIR Phase I: True Analog Fractional Order Control

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0538866
Agency Tracking Number: 0538866
Amount: $99,775.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 05-557
Small Business Information
51 Evergreen Drive, Bozeman, MT, 59715
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gary Bohannan
 (406) 587-4183
Business Contact
 Gary Bohannan
Title: Dr
Phone: (406) 587-4183
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will improve and simplify servomechanism control by using a patent-pending new circuit element - the Fractor. Human augmentation systems requiring human-like motion will be the first targets for this novel control approach based on fractional order control (FOC), including prosthetic joints and powered wheelchairs. The control technology also holds promise to solve stability problems in other servomechanisms, such as hard disc drives. State-of-the-art control systems for light and flexible systems require constant retuning or extremely complex control algorithms to "predict" and "adapt" to changing conditions but cannot respond to unconsidered circumstances. These limitations evaporate with the introduction of the full power of the fractional calculus. Fractional order calculus simply introduces the real number line to a theory that has been artificially constrained to the integer numbers. FOC is internationally recognized as the next route of improvement in robotics. This research to pioneer a new paradigm of control engineering is supported by both a prosthetic company and hard disc drive manufacturers. Neuro-motor dynamics in humans have been successfully modeled by fractional differential equations, with the same form as is exhibited by the Fractor. Also, the fractional order control matches diffusion-limited processes in fuel cells and thermally-limited systems, e.g. steam and nuclear power plants.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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