System and circuit modelling has long been an important aspect of motor control system design. With a Model-Based Design (MBD) approach, electrical, mechanical and system-level models are used to evaluate design concepts before building and testing physical hardware. The latest simulation tools from MathWorks can model complete embedded control systems including the electrical circuit and mechanical system domains. Meanwhile, embedded coding tools generate C code from control system models to enable direct deployment of control algorithms on embedded control platforms.

These tools enable the MBD process where control algorithms can be designed and fully tested on a simulation platform before the final hardware test. Key to building a successful MBD platform is partitioning the system model and embedded software code. Once the MBD platform is tested using a known algorithm and system, new algorithms can be developed and safely tested on the simulation platform at the extreme limits of system operation

This article by Dara O'Sullivan, Jens Sorensen and Aengus Murray, describes the detailed steps in building a model-based design (MBD) platform around the ADI ADSP-CM408 control processor. It follows with examples of basic permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) control algorithms initially deployed and the ease of extending the functionality to include multi-axis position control for automation systems.