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# UNIVERSITY OF MALTA

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING
B.ENG.(HONS.) IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
YEAR II SEMESTER II
MAY/JUNE 2014 SESSION OF EXAMINATIONS

## 1300 1500 hours

This paper contains FOUR questions. You are to attempt THREE.
Stationery:

Mathematical booklet
Laplace tables
Use of calculators is allowed

## 1. Consider the electrical circuit shown in Figure 1.

C
R1

vi(t)

R2

R3

vo(t)

Figure 1
a. Show that the voltage transfer function

Vo (s)
Vi (s)

is given by

Vo (s)
(CR2 R3 )s + R3
=
Vi (s)
(CR1 R2 + CR2 R3 )s + (R1 + R2 + R3 )
(12 marks)
b. Given that R1 = R2 = R3 = 1 and the capacitor is initially discharged:
i. Obtain an expression for vo (t) in terms of C, when vi (t) is a unit-step.
(6 marks)
ii. Sketch the resulting unit-step response, and label clearly the initial and
final values of vo (t).
(3 marks)
iii. Show that the initial and final values of vo (t) can also be obtained by
using Vo (s) i.e. without using the time-domain expression vo (t).
(5 marks)
iv. Determine an inequality for C, if the unit-step response is required to
decay to 0.4 V in one second or less.
(7 marks)
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## 2. Figure 2 depicts a circular spacecraft. The spacecraft can be turned about

its own center via the side thrusters which produce a resultant torque (Nm)
about the center. The angular displacement with reference to the vertical axis
(the dotted line) is (radians), and the moment of inertia of the spacecraft is J
(kgm2 ). The spacecraft operates in a frictionless environment.

Figure 2
a. Show that the transfer function

(s)
(s)

is given by

1
(s)
= 2
(s)
Js
(4 marks)
b. In an attempt to control the spacecrafts angular displacement , the closedloop control system depicted in Figure 3 has been proposed.

ref

1
Js2

Figure 3
By examining the closed-loop poles, show that irrespective of the value of
the controllers gain A, this proportional control scheme is inadequate to
stabilize the system.
(5 marks)
c. Subsequently, it is was decided that a proportional control system with
velocity feedback is used. This is depicted in Figure 4.

ref

A
+
+

Kv

1
Js2

Figure 4
Quest. 2 cont . . . / 3
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Quest. 2 . . . contd.
i. Derive the closed-loop transfer function of this control system.
(4 marks)
2
ii. Given that J = 1000 kgm , determine the controller parameters A and
Kv if the control system is required to exhibit a maximum overshoot of
5% and a settling time of 10 seconds.
(12 marks)
iii. Determine the steady-state error of the control system for step reference
inputs.
(4 marks)
iv. In light of the scenario described in this question, explain briefly the
main role of velocity feedback in control systems.
(4 marks)

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## 3. Figure 5 depicts a mechanical mass-spring-damper system where: u (m) (the

systems input) is the displacement of point P , and x (m) (the systems output)
is the displacement of mass m (kg). Moreover, k (N/m) is the spring constant
and b (Ns/m) is the dashpots coefficient of viscous friction.

u
b

P
k
Figure 5

Given that

k
b
= 7 and
= 10:
m
m

## a. Show that the transfer function

Y (s)
U (s)

is given by

7s + 10
Y (s)
=
U (s)
(s + 2)(s + 5)
(10 marks)
b. Obtain an expression for y(t) if the input displacement u(t) is a unit-step.
Assume that the system is initially at rest and y(0) = u(0) = 0.
(6 marks)
c. Provide a rough sketch of the resulting unit-step response, and label clearly
the initial and final values of y(t).
(3 marks)
d. Use a method of your choice to derive a state-space model for this system.
Express your result in matrix form.
(14 marks)

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## 4. Figure 6 depicts a closed-loop control system.

Controller

0.2

Plant
+
+

1
s+4

1
Ts

0.2
Figure 6
a. Show that this closed-loop system is equivalent to a unity-feedback system
with a feedforward transfer function given by

0.2A s + T1
G(s) =
s (s + 4)
(8 marks)
b. Does this control system exhibit any steady-state error when subjected to
step reference inputs? Why?
(2 marks)
c. Obtain an expression for the static velocity error constant Kv , and use
it to derive the systems steady-state error (in terms of A and T ) when
1
R(s) = 2 .
s
(4 marks)
d. Determine the values of the controller parameters A and T such that the
closed-loop system exhibits real and equal poles, and a steady-state error
of 0.1 for a unit-ramp reference input.
(14 marks)
e. Name the kind of controller used in this control system, and briefly explain
its main purpose and operation.
(5 marks)

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