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A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Approach for Introducing Design of Control System

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Daniel Raviv Florida Atlantic University

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Dr. Raviv is a Professor of Computer & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University. In December 2009 he was named Assistant Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

With more than 25 years of combined experience in the high-tech industry, government and academia Dr. Raviv developed fundamentally different approaches to “out-of-the-box” thinking and a breakthrough methodology known as “Eight Keys to Innovation.” He has been sharing his contributions with professionals in businesses, academia and institutes nationally and internationally. Most recently he was a visiting professor at the University of Maryland (at Mtech, Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute) and at Johns Hopkins University (at the Center for Leadership Education) where he researched and delivered processes for creative & innovative problem solving.

For his unique contributions he received the prestigious Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, the Faculty Talon Award, the University Researcher of the Year AEA Abacus Award, and the President’s Leadership Award. Dr. Raviv has published in the areas of vision-based driverless cars, green innovation, and innovative thinking. He is a co-holder of a Guinness World Record. His new book is titled: "Everyone Loves Speed Bumps, Don't You? A Guide to Innovative Thinking."

Dr. Daniel Raviv received his Ph.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1987 and M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology in 1982 and 1980, respectively.

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Paul Benedict Caballo Reyes Florida Atlantic University

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Paul Benedict Reyes is an Master's Degree student in Electrical Engineering in Florida Atlantic University who expects to graduate Spring 2017. His current interests are in wireless communications, communication theory, and radio frequency devices and circuits. He held leadership positions in organizations such as Tau Beta Pi and Asian Student Union and continues to provide support as a senior advisor.

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Justin Thomas Baker Florida Atlantic University

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Justin Baker is an undergraduate student studying Electrical Engineering at Florida Atlantic University who expects to graduate Spring 2017. His areas of interest include controls systems and embedded systems.

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Control Systems classes cover many new topics and concepts. By the time instructors begin to teach design of controllers, students have already learned some analysis and synthesis tools such as Root Locus, Routh-Hurwitz criteria for stability, Bode plot and its relation to stability, and Nyquist plot and its stability criterion. The problem is that at this point in time, these topics can still be fragmented and partially disconnected in students’ minds. Oftentimes, the relations between the topics are not fully clear. When it comes to design of feedback control systems, we have repeatedly found out that, despite continuous attempts to improve our teaching, there were still some problems in students’ understanding. These include: •Connecting the concept of a controller to real-life, and to sensing-based daily examples •Understanding the true meaning of controller design and its implementation •“Translating” the plant model and the design specifications to different control tools, and inter-relating them In this paper, we report on work in progress of an intuitive and visual approach to teaching design of controllers in a closed loop control system using a specific comprehensive third order system. For example, all explanations use different colors consistently to show stability (green), instability (red), and marginally stable (orange) systems on related plots. This paper presents several topics, such as clarifying the meaning and importance of controllers, through daily, story-telling-based examples. It uses a comprehensive approach for analyzing and understanding a plant (to be controlled) in open loop, the controller, and the final design. For example, multiple synthesis tools are used to analyze the plant’s open loop gain and show its effect on closed loop marginal stability; this shows the effect of the open loop gain on the Bode Plot (shift in gain expressed in dB), the Nyquist Plot (shrinking and expanding effect of the plot), the Root Locus plot (new locations of closed loop poles), and the first column of Routh Table. In addition, this paper shows the effects of different controllers (P, I, D, PD, PI, and PID) and their relations to the desired performance. We intentionally show unsuccessful designs: this helps in explaining some pros and cons of different controllers. This is followed by a successful design of a controller. Lastly, we present multiple ways to observe and analyze the effect of the final controller design using multiple design tools, as well as MATLAB simulations. This also includes discussing design “rules of thumb” and how they are manifested in each tool. It should be noted that the material presented in this paper is not meant to replace existing textbooks chapters. It is merely an add-on to better explain, learn, and comprehend the topic of design, and see the bigger picture. This is work in progress. However, we have tested the approach a few times and received a very positive feedback from students. A more comprehensive assessment approach is planned for the near future.

Raviv, D., & Reyes, P. B. C., & Baker, J. T. (2017, June), A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Approach for Introducing Design of Control System Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27455

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