This paper focuses on an improved square root unscented Kalman filter (SRUKF) and its application for rotor speed and position estimation of permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM). The approach, which combines the SRUKF and strong tracking filter, uses the minimal skew simplex transformation to reduce the number of the sigma points, and utilizes the square root filtering to reduce computational errors. The time-varying fading factor and softening factor are introduced to self-adjust the gain matrices and the state forecast covariance square root matrix, which can realize the residuals orthogonality and force the SRUKF to track the real state rapidly. The theoretical analysis of the improved SRUKF and implementation details for PMSM state estimation are examined. The simulation results show that the improved SRUKF has higher nonlinear approximation accuracy, stronger numerical stability and computational efficiency, and it is an effective and powerful tool for PMSM state estimation under the conditions of step response or load disturbance.
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