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Implementing Problem-based Learning Projects To Synthesize Feedback Controllers Using MATLAB/Simulink and Students' Assessment

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Aerospace Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.709.1 - 24.709.15



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Paper Authors


Rajnish Sharma University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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Dr. Rajnish Sharma, an assistant professor in the department of engineering and aviation sciences at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, received his doctoral degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, in December 2008. He received his bachelor of technology in mechanical engineering in 1999 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, where he entered the aerospace department in July 2001 and received his master of technology degree in May 2003. He was an assistant professor at the University of Alabama from the fall of 2008 to the spring of 2012. He also got industrial experience in several multinational companies from 1999 to 2001. He is a senior member of AIAA and AAS and member of IEEE, ASME, ASEE, Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Pi. The author of many peer-reviewed conference proceedings, his selected publications are in IEEE, ASME, AAS and AIAA journals. His primary research interests include optimal control theory and estimation, nonlinear feedback methods, dynamic differential games, spacecraft/aircraft control, flight mechanics, mechatronics, and nonlinear dynamical systems.

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Abhijit Nagchaudhuri University of Maryland, Eastern Shore

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Abhijit Nagchaudhuri is a professor in the department of engineering and aviation sciences at University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. A member of ASME and ASEE professional societies, he is actively involved in teaching and research in the fields of engineering mechanics, robotics, and control systems; precision agriculture and remote sensing; and biofuels and renewable energy. Dr. Nagchaudhuri received his bachelor's degree from Jadavpur University in Calcutta, India, with a honors in mechanical engineering in 1983. Thereafter, he worked in a multinational industry for four years before enrolling as a graduate student at Tulane University, receiving his M.S. degree in 1989 and his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1992.

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IMPLEMENTING PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING PROJECTS TO SYNTHESIZE FEEDBACK CONTROLLERS USING SIMULINK AND STUDENTS ASSESMENT AbstractIn the quest for control, there is no shortage of automatic control techniques to the real-worlddynamical systems, but meeting the requirements with strict design standards includingascertaining optimality throughout the course of engineering process, modeling and applicationstill need much more on teaching methods due to be revised and implemented. This paper presentsa variety of problem-based projects introduced to learn modern control techniques and simulationthrough in-class projects in controls and mechatronics courses offered to junior and seniormechanical and aerospace undergraduate engineering students. As in literature and establishingthe laboratory, mostly these type of activities have been limited to the problems based on linearcontrol methods and design. The primary objective of the paper is to exchange implementable andviable demonstrative ideas for teaching nonlinear control techniques using real-time simulationmethods. Technically, the project implementations are based on programming in MATLAB andSIMULINK for nonlinear controller design such as state-dependent Riccati equations that requireto solve governing nonlinear differential equations using state-space modeling and LQ type design.Moreover, in view of aerospace world, particularly focusing on current research needs in the areasof air traffic control, space monitoring, missile guidance, bio-inspired design of unmanned vehicles& trajectory planning, space situational awareness, atmospheric reentry and optimal rendezvous,there are many well-known problems in dynamics and controls, structures, services andobservations that can be subjectively opened to undergraduate and graduate level class through thecourse curriculum to enhance their interest and motivation to active learning of course materialand further advancements to be ready for joining industry and research. Based on these mentionedaerospace topics, the problems introduced in the class-project activities are designed to primarilyaddress multifaceted ABET outcomes, especially c, d, h and k and enthuse a diversifiedinterdisciplinary research orientation to students’ technical mindset. Finally, author presents adetailed study of students’ assessment, grasping capabilities and challenges to make it thoroughand rewarding for undergraduate research experiences in Aerospace Controls and Engineering.

Sharma, R., & Nagchaudhuri, A. (2014, June), Implementing Problem-based Learning Projects To Synthesize Feedback Controllers Using MATLAB/Simulink and Students' Assessment Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20601

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