Knowledge on (internal and external) dynamic forces and torques is of crucial importance, both during the prototype development phases of mechatronic products, machines and processes, as well as during their operational lifetimes. Measuring forces is a time consuming, error-prone, expensive and often intrusive process. Furthermore, it occurs regularly that force measurements at the desired locations are prohibited due to space limitations or too harsh circumstances.
The main goal of the project is to develop a breakthrough force/torque measurement technology by adopting a virtual sensing strategy. This involves the evaluation and development of single (Kalman filter based) and multistep (Moving Horizon Estimation based) estimators that combine high-fidelity physical models and physically inspired grey box models with affordable non-intrusive sensors to retrieve unknown forces in a fast (possibly real-time), accurate, in-situ and on-line manner. The targeted performance is defined in cooperation with industry and spans from real-time in-situ force estimation with a 10 Hz bandwidth and a 20 dB dynamic range to on-line in-situ force estimation with a 200 Hz bandwidth and an 80 dB dynamic range. The estimation technologies should be able to account for the non-linear dynamic effects as encountered in mechatronic drivetrains and systems.