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ELEC50004 Control Systems

Lecturer(s): Prof Thomas Parisini


The aim of this module is to provide you with the basic elements of the theory of dynamic systems and of the basic techniques to design automatic control systems meeting functional and performance specifications and taking into account technological constraints.

Dynamic models in the state-space and in the frequency domain are dealt with as well as basic time-behaviour analysis of closed-loop systems.

Static and dynamic design of the control system is addressed and links are established with the experimental validation on a selected hardware test benchmark in the laboratory of the dynamic models and the satisfaction of the closed-loop requirements.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
1. Construct linear dynamic models of engineering systems of practical relevance in the frequency and in the state-space domain

2. Recognise the basic principles governing the behaviour of a closed-loop control system including the modes of behaviour of its basic components

3. Evaluate, among several options, how to configure and structure the architecture and the controller of an automatic control system starting from functional requirements and considering technological constraints

4. Analyse the static and dynamic performance of basic linear feedback control systems and design controllers such that the overall control system behaves according to pre-specified requirements.

5. Analyse and quantify the impact of digital implementation of the control system on the closed-loop performance

6. Validate experimentally the dynamic models and the satisfaction of the closed-loop requirements on a selected hardware test benchmark in the laboratory


1. Introduction to control problems

Objectives of closed-loop automatic control. Examples in the engineering and industrial context of
automatic control problems. Transient and steady-state performances of
control systems. Types and elements of an automatic control system
(open-loop, closed-loop, compensation, regulators, sensors, actuators).
Motivations for the use of discrete-time control systems.

2. Dynamic models

Continuous-time and discrete-time linear systems: time-domain and
transfer function models, stability. Step-response (with emphasis on first and
second-order systems), block schemes. Mathematical
description of significant engineering systems in continuous- and
discrete-time. Relations between frequency response and time response. Interpretation of linear systems
as filters.

3. Sampled-data systems

Sampling process, aliasing, choice of sampling time. Continuous-discrete
conversion approximate techniques: implicit Euler method, Tustin

4. Analysis and design of automatic control systems

Control systems requirements: stability, precision, disturbance compensation, robustness.
Stability analysis: Nyquist and Bode criteria. Performance analysis and
relation with loop-transfer function characteristics. Design of continuous
time regulators using the Bode and root-locus methods. Design of sampled-data
controllers by discretization of continuous-time controllers: use of
continuous-discrete conversion approximate techniques. PID controllers
Exam Duration: N/A
Coursework contribution: 40%

Term: Spring

Closed or Open Book (end of year exam): N/A

Coursework Requirement:
         Laboratory Experiment
         Non-assessed problem sheets

Oral Exam Required (as final assessment): no

Prerequisite module(s): None required

Course Homepage: unavailable

Book List: