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Sensorless control of a permanent-magnet synchronous machine at low and zero speed is based on the injection of an oscillating high-frequency carrier signal. A particular demodulation technique serves to eliminate the estimation error introduced by pulsewidth modulation delay and the nonlinear characteristics of the inverter. Before the drive is started, the initial rotor position and the magnet polarity are detected. The initialization is performed by injecting an AC carrier and two short current pulses in a sequence.