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Automated Analytical Models From Test Data

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.86.1 - 2.86.4

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Paper Authors

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Robert L. Drake

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1426


Robert L. Drake School of Engineering The University of Tennessee at Martin


In applying classical control system theory, it is important to have an analytical model of the process which is to be controlled. An analytical model is also desirable when a circuit or system is to be redesigned for other purposes.

Frequently, a circuit or system must be defined by test data taken in the laboratory or in the field, and it is desired to find numerical values for parameters in a specified analytical model or else to determine the “best” of several possible model forms.

This paper reports on undergraduate laboratory experience in determining parameters and model forms based on test data. A digital computer is interfaced to the physical process through input/output equipment. The equipment or process to be tested is driven by either steps or sinusoids under computer control and the response is measured under program control, using Hewlett-Packard BASIC. The data is exported to a MATLAB program in which the modeling is done.

Three processes are reported. In order of speed the processes are (1) an audio amplifier, (2) an ac motor-dynamometer-tachometer test set, and (3) a tank level experiment.


It is frequently necessary to provide an analytical model of an engineering process or system based on the results of testing such systems. This need may arise in designing a control system for such a process or in providing a summary description of test results. In some practical cases, the process is of such complexity that the equations describing the process are either not available or else are too unwieldy to be useful. In less complicated cases, such as described here, the equations may be readily obtained but either the parameters are unknown or else there is a need for an experimental check on the parameter estimates obtained by approximations.

The three cases reported here arose from three separate undergraduate engineering courses. The audio amplifier experiment originated in a junior-level course in electronics. The ac motor- dynamometer-tachometer experiment arose in a senior-level course in control system design. The tank level control experiment arose in a freshman course in introduction to engineering methods.

Drake, R. L. (1997, June), Automated Analytical Models From Test Data Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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