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Innovations In Undergraduate Control System Instructional Laboratory

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Computer-Based Measurements

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.738.1 - 9.738.13



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Paper Authors

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Stephen Williams

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Hadi Saadat

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

Session 3159

Innovations in Undergraduate Control System Instructional Laboratory

Hadi Saadat, Stephen Williams Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI 53202

Abstract With the growth of microcomputer capabilities, control engineering has witnessed a significant shift towards digital implementation of digital controllers. Many modern industrial and commercial control systems employ digital computers. With the use of digital computers in the loop, one can readily generate C code from graphical simulation tools such as Simulink block diagrams for real-time controller implementation. This has provided the impetus for establishment of a real-time instructional control laboratory at Milwaukee School of Engineering. In this paper the development of this innovative integrated real-time control system laboratory will be described. Next modeling, simulation, controller design and implementation of a few typical laboratory experiments and projects of different complexity are presented. This paper also reports on Simulink modeling of the nonlinear inverted pendulum with some research results for different swing-up controllers.

Introduction With the great advances in microelectronics and high-performance data acquisition and control boards, the control of modern industrial and commercial systems with a digital computer is becom- ing more common. To bridge the gap between academics and industry it is essential to supplement the teaching of control system courses by developing and incorporating into the curriculum a real- time control system laboratory that will allow students to design, implement, and test their own control systems. For a control education laboratory to work effectively and efficiently it should be based on well established systems that provide a variety of experiments that span the spectrum of topics from classical control to optimal, digital, robust, and nonlinear control. If such a system is in place then it becomes feasible for the research professor to concentrate on ”build your own” experiments. Or, more appropriately, it gives graduate students an opportunity to build their own open-ended exploratory experiments. The Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at the Milwaukee School of Engi- neering has recently established a modern real-time control system laboratory. This laboratory was developed to enhance the quality of undergraduate education in control systems and to reinforce the concepts that are covered in the lectures. This real-time control laboratory also opens up research activities for graduate student projects. The undergraduate experiments give students the opportunity to tie theoretical classroom concepts with practical hands-on experiments. The objective is to provide undergraduate students with computer-based control and introduce them to concepts such as client-server environment, visual instrumentation, automatic code generation, and the modern techniques needed for the design and implementation of automatic control systems. In addition, the use of the Matlab/Simulink combination for analysis and design of modern control systems and the implementation of physical control systems has allowed coverage of topics in undergraduate curriculum that traditionally are considered advanced topics.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Williams, S., & Saadat, H. (2004, June), Innovations In Undergraduate Control System Instructional Laboratory Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12721

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