Simulation and control of a stepping motor

  • Michael Justice

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Open-loop operatlon of the stepping motor exploits the inherent advantages of the machine. For near optimum operation: in this mode, however, an accurate system model is required to facilitate controller design. Such a model must be comprehensive and take account of the non-linearities inherent in the system. The result is a complex formulation which can be made manageable with a computational aid.
A digital simulation of a hybrid type stepping motor and its associated drive circuit is proposed. The simulation is based upon a block diagram model which includes reasonable approximations to the major non-linearities. The simulation is shown to yield accurate performance predictions.
The determination of the transfer functions is based upon the
consideration of the physical processes involved rather than
upon direct input-outout measurements. The effects of eddy
currents, saturation, hysteresis, drive circuit characteristics
and non-linear torque displacement characteristics are
considered and methods of determining transfer functions, which
take account of these effects, are offered.
The static torque displacement characteristic is considered in detail and a model is proposed which predicts static torque for any combination of phase currents and shaft position. Methods of predicting the characteristic directly from machine geometry are investigated.
Drive circuit design for high efficiency operation is considered and a model of a bipolar, bilevel circuit is proposed.
The transfers between stator voltage and stator current and between stator current and air gap flux are complicated by the effects of eddy currents, saturation and hysteresis. Frequency response methods, combined with average inductance measurements, are shown to yield reasonable transfer functions.
The modelling procedure and subsequent digital simulation is concluded to be a powerful method of non-linear analysis.
Date of AwardOct 1977
Original languageEnglish


  • digital simulation
  • modelling
  • non-linear systems
  • stepping motors
  • torque

Cite this