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# Time Response of

a Prototype First-Order System

One of the simplest systems is that represented
by a first-order differential equation. Such a
system is known as a first-order system. There
are many examples of first-order systems.
Speed control of a DC Motor.

Electrical first-order system
R

vi

vi  vo  iR
C

vo

dvo
iC
dt

Taking Laplace transforms, assuming zero initial
conditions, and eliminating i result in

Vi (s)  Vo (s)  RCsVo
Vo ( s)
1
1

Vi ( s) RCs  1 Ts  1

Vi (s)  Vo (1  RCs )
Time constant T  RC

A Prototype First-Order System
Mathematical Model

R

1 Ts

C

dct 
T
 cs   r t 
dt
C s 
1
s  

Rs  Ts  1

Impulse Response
1
Ts  1

R(s)

C (s)

If the input is a unit impulse, then R(s)  1
leading to C ( s)  1

Ts  1

Taking the inverse Laplace transform gives
1 t / T
c(t )  e
T

Impulse Response
1 t / T
c(t )  e
T

1
T

0

t

Unit-Step Response
R(s)

1
Ts  1

C (s)

In this case, for a unit-step input R( s)  1
s

Hence the output becomes
C ( s) 

1
1
T
1
1
 
 
s(Ts  1) s Ts  1 s s  1 / T

giving the time-domain response

c(t )  1  e

t / T

dc t 
1 T1t
1
| 
e
| 
t 0
dt t  0
T
T

Unit-Step Response
c(t )  1  e

t / T

ess  1  h  1 1  0
%  0
0.982

0.865
0.632

0.950

3T (5%)
ts  
4T (2%)

Ramp Response
R(s)

1
Ts  1

If the input is the unit ramp
then

C (s)
r (t )  t

1
R( s )  2
s

1
1 T
T
C ( s)  2
 2 
s (Ts  1) s
s s 1/ T

The time-domain response becomes
c(t )  t  T  Te

t
T

Ramp Response
The response consists of a transient part and a
steady-state part, and in the steady state the output
lags the input by a time equal to the consist T .

c(t )  t  T  Te

t
T

Spring-mass-damper
second order system
F (t ) force
x(t ) represents the position of the mass
k

d 2x
dx
m 2 f
 Kx  F (t )
dt
dt

F(t)
m

Assuming zero initial conditions,
taking Laplace transforms

f
x(t)

ms 2 X ( s)  fsX ( s)  Kx( s)  F ( s)
X ( s)
1

F ( s) ms 2  fs  K

A Prototype Second-Order System
Mathematical Model
r (t )

R(s)

d 2c t 
dt 2

n2
s ( s  2 n )

Damping ratio

 2n

dc t 
dt

 n2c t   n2r t 

c(t )

C (s)

n

n2
C ( s)
 2
R( s) s  2 n s  n2

Natural undamped frequency

The characteristic equation
s 2  2 n s  n2  0

A Prototype Second-Order System
For a unit-step input
the output becomes

1
R( s) 
s

n2
1
C s   s   Rs   2

s  2 n  n2 s

2
2

1
1
1
1
n
n
ht   L C s   L  2
 L 

2



s

2

s

s
s

s
s

s
s
n
n
1
2

 c1
c2
1
L 

   1  c1e s1t  c2 e s2t
 s  s1 s  s2 s 
1

C1 

 n2
( s1  s2 ) s1

s 2  2 n s  n2  0

C2 

 n2
( s2  s1 ) s2

s1,2  n  n   1
2

A Prototype Second-Order System
s1,2  n  n  2  1  a  n  2  1
Root

j

n

 d  n 1   2

a   n
Root

  cos 

a  is
n the real part of the roots
d  n 1   2 is the imaginary part of the roots

A Prototype Second-Order System
s1,2  n  n  2  1
>1 (overdamped)

s1, 2   n   n  2  1

=1 (critically damped)

s1, 2   n

0<<1 (underdamped)

s1, 2   n  j n 1   2

=0 (undamped)

s1, 2   j n

-1< <0 (negatively damped)

s1, 2   n  jn 1   2 ( n  0)

A Prototype Second-Order System
j

j

s1

0

s2

(a)

 1

s1  s2

n

(d)

 0

0

s 2
(b)

 1
j

n 1   2
0

0

s2

n 1   2

 n

0

j

s1

s1 

n

j

 n 1   2

 n 1   2

(c) 0    1
j

 s1
 n

0

 s2

(e) 1    0

(f)

 

s1 s 2

  1

Roots of the characteristic equation of the prototype second-order system

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system
0<<1 (underdamped)
s1, 2   n  jn 1   2  a  jd
n2
C ( s) 
s( s 2  2 n s  n2 )

c(t )  1 

e  nt
1  2

sin 1   2 nt  arccos 

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system
0<<1 (underdamped)
c(t )  1 

e  nt
1 

2

sin 1   2 nt  arccos 

Maximum Overshoot
0<<1 (underdamped)
c(t )  1 

e  nt
1 

2

sin 1   2 nt  arccos 

tp 

d n 1   2

c(t p )  1  e
% 

 / 1 2

c(t p )  c()

e

c ( )
 / 1 2

100%

100%

Maximum Overshoot
0<<1 (underdamped)

%  e

 / 1 2

100%

100
90
80

Typical values:

70

%

60

ζ
0.5
0.7

50
40
30
20
10
0

0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

σ%
16%
5%

1

Percent overshoot as a function of damping ratio for the step response of
the prototype second-order system

Settling time
0<<1 (underdamped)
c(t )  1 

e nt
1 

2

1

sin d t   
1

e nt
1 

 upper bound

2

e nt

 lower - bound

1  2
e nt
1 

2

   0.05

nt s   ln  1   2

ts

ts 

3.5

 n

(  0.8)

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system
tr 

 
d

0<<1 (underdamped)

tp 

2
d
n 1  
3) %

% 

If <0.8, then

c(t p )  c()
c ( )

ts 
ts 

3.5

n
4.5

n

(0<<1)

100%  e



1 2

100%

(0    1)

( =  5%)
( =  2%)

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system
To keep σ% less than a fixed value,
Must have ζ ≥ ζ(σ%).

To keep tr less than a fixed value,
Must have ωn ≥ ωn min.

To keep ts less than a fixed value,
Must have   3.5
n

ts

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system

Putting these constraints together will yield an
allowable region for the poles

Note: The allowable region is a guide.
After a system is designed, the
performance will have to be evaluated.

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system
>1 (overdamped)
The characteristic equation

s 2  2n s  n2  0

2
The two roots can be expressed as s1,2  n  n   1
2
2

1
1
1
1
n
n
c t   L C s   L  2
   L 

2
 s  s1  s  s 2  s 
 s  2ns  n s 

 c1
c2
1
 L 

   1  c1e s1t  c2e s2t
 s  s1 s  s 2 s 
1

where

C1 

 n2
( s1  s2 ) s1

C2 

 n2
( s2  s1 ) s2

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system
>1 (overdamped)

ts 

1

n

(6.45  1.7)

Maximum Overshoot

=c()  5%

  0.7

%  0

No overshoot .No oscillation

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system
=1 (critically damped)

s1, 2   n
c s    s  

1

s

s

n2

 n 

2

1

s

 t

1
c t   L C s  1  1   t e n
n

t s  4.75 n

  c()  5%

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system
=0 (undamped)
s1, 2   j n

c t   1  cos nt

continuous oscillation

The unit-step response of
a prototype second-order system

Addition of a Zero
to the Forward-Path Transfer Function
r (t )

e(t )

1  Td s

u (t )

R(s)

n2
s ( s  2 n )

c(t )
C (s)

The closed-loop transfer function:
(1  Td s)n2
(1  Td s)n2
C ( s)

 2
1
R( s) s 2  2(  T  ) s   2 s  2 d n s  n2
d n
n
n
2

The improved damping ratio:

1
 d    Td n  
2

(Td  0)

Addition of a Zero
to the Forward-Path Transfer Function
The closed-loop transfer function:
(1  Td s)n2
(1  Td s)n2
C ( s)

 2
(Td  0)
2
1
R( s) s 2  2(  T  ) s   2 s  2 d n s  n
2

d

n

n

n

n2
n2
C ( s)  2
R( s)  Td s 2
R( s )
2
2
s  2 d n s  n
s  2 d n s  n
R(s)

C1 ( s)
n2
s 2  2 d n s  n2

Td s

C (s)

Since multiplying by s is the same as differentiating in
the time domain
dc1 (t )
c(t )  c1 (t )  Td
dt

Addition of a Zero
to the Forward-Path Transfer Function
C1 ( s) 

2
n

1
s 2  2(  Td n )n s  n2
2

dc1 (t )
c(t )  c1 (t )  Td
dt

1
s

(1  Td s)n2
1
C ( s) 

1
s 2  2(  Td n )n s  n2 s
2

n2
1
C0 ( s)  2

s  2 n s  n2 s

c0 (t )

c(t )

c(t )

c1 (t )
dc1 (t )
Td
dt

The effect of the speed feedback
r (t )

e(t )

u (t )

R(s)

n2
s ( s  2 n )

c(t )

C (s)

Kt s

n2
C ( s)
 2
R( s) s  (2 n  K tn2 ) s  n2
The improved damping ratio:

1
2

 t    K t n