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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

First Advisor

Gordon G Parker


The purpose of this study is to explore a Kalman Filter approach to estimating swing of crane-suspended loads. Measuring real-time swing is needed to implement swing damping control strategies where crane joints are used to remove energy from a swinging load. The typical solution to measuring swing uses an inertial sensor attached to the hook block. Measured hook block twist is used to resolve the other two sensed body rates into tangential and radial swing. Uncertainty in the twist measurement leads to inaccurate tangential and radial swing calculations and ineffective swing damping. A typical mitigation approach is to bandpass the inertial sensor readings to remove low frequency drift and high frequency noise. The center frequency of the bandpass filter is usually designed to track the load length and the pass band width set to trade off performance with damping loop gain. The Kalman Filter approach developed here allows all swing motions (radial, tangential and twist) to be measured without the use of a bandpass filter. This provides an alternate solution for swing damping control implementation. After developing a Kalman Filter solution for a two-dimensional swing scenario, the three-dimensional system is considered where simplifying assumptions, suggested by the two-dimensional study, are exploited. One of the interesting aspects of the three-dimensional study is the hook block twist model. Unlike the mass-independence of a pendulum's natural frequency, the twist natural frequency depends both on the pendulum length and the load’s mass distribution. The linear Kalman Filter is applied to experimental data demonstrating the ability to extract the individual swing components for complex motions. It should be noted that the three-dimensional simplifying assumptions preclude the ability to measure two "secondary" hook block rotations. The ability to segregate these motions from the primary swing degrees of freedom was illustrated in the two-dimensional study and could be included into the three-dimensional solution if they were found to be important for a particular application.