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In control engineering and control theory the transfer function is derived using the Laplace

transform.

The transfer function was the primary tool used in classical control engineering. However, it has

proven to be unwieldy for the analysis of multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems, and

has been largely supplanted by state space representations for such systems. In spite of this, a

transfer matrix can be always obtained for any linear system, in order to analyze its dynamics

and other properties: each element of a transfer matrix is a transfer function relating a particular

input variable to an output variable.

Closed-loop poles are the positions of the poles (or eigenvalues) of a closed-loop transfer

function in the s-plane. The open-loop transfer function is equal to the product of all transfer

function blocks in the forward path in the block diagram. The closed-loop transfer function is

obtained by dividing the open-loop transfer function by the sum of one (1) and the product of all

transfer function blocks throughout the feedback loop. The closed-loop transfer function may

also be obtained by algebraic or block diagram manipulation. Once the closed-loop transfer

function is obtained for the system, the closed-loop poles are obtained by solving the

characteristic equation. The characteristic equation is nothing more than setting the denominator

of the closed-loop transfer function to zero (0).

In control theory there are two main methods of analyzing feedback systems: the transfer

function (or frequency domain) method and the state space method. When the transfer function

method is used, attention is focused on the locations in the s-plane where the transfer function

becomes infinite (the poles) or zero (the zeroes). Two different transfer functions are of interest

to the designer. If the feedback loops in the system are opened (that is prevented from operating)

one speaks of the open-loop transfer function, while if the feedback loops are operating

normally one speaks of the closed-loop transfer function. For more on the relationship between

the two see root-locus.

The response of a system to any input can be derived from its impulse response and step

response. The eigenvalues of the system determine completely the natural response (unforced

response). In control theory, the response to any input is a combination of a transient response

and steady-state response. Therefore, a crucial design parameter is the location of the

eigenvalues, or closed-loop poles.

In root-locus design, the gain, K, is usually parameterized. Each point on the locus satisfies the

angle condition and magnitude condition and corresponds to a different value of K. For negative

feedback systems, the closed-loop poles move along the root-locus from the open-loop poles to

the open-loop zeroes as the gain is increased. For this reason, the root-locus is often used for

design of proportional control, i.e. those for which .

[edit] Finding closed-loop poles

Consider a simple feedback system with controller , plant and transfer function in the feedback

path. Note that a unity feedback system has and the block is omitted. For this system, the open-

loop transfer function is the product of the blocks in the forward path, . The product of the blocks

around the entire closed loop is . Therefore, the closed-loop transfer function is

The closed-loop poles, or eigenvalues, are obtained by solving the characteristic equation . In

general, the solution will be n complex numbers where n is the order of the characteristic

polynomial.

The preeceeding is valid for single input single output systems (SISO). An extension is possible

for multiple input multiple output systems, that is for systems where and are matrices whose

elements are made of transfer functions. In this case the poles are the solution of equation:

introduction

In control systems , systems are classified into two groups: 1) Open loop systems, 2) Closed

loop systems.

Open loop systems are systems in which the output of a system is not used as a variable to

control the system.

Open loop control systems use the input variables to calculate the output based on the "open loop

transfer function" of the system. The output is not fedback to modify the controlled output. There

are many reasons to use open loop control such as simplifying the control system, quicker

response of the system, to reduce the possiblility of oscillation and sometimes to lower cost.

control system is in the control of the wing surfaces on a modern figther plane. The closed loop

implenmentaion would make the control much slower (cost is clearly not an issue in this

example).

There are very good references for the fundamentals on the main wikipedia.org site such as

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transfer_function

Note for moderators, the statements below are incorrect. Open loop systems are systems in which

input to the system is not controlled by the present output.

In open loop systems, problems are solved by trying to avoid them in the first place, ie., by good

design.

The most fundamental concept for control systems engineering is the block

diagram. The simplest element of a block diagram looks like this:

Figure 1. Open loop control system.

This is also a complete system by itself. This system takes the input and

generates output through the action of the plant. The details of the internal

workings of the plant are unspecified, and to some extent irrelevant. All we

are concerned with here is the relationship between the input and output. A

well-behaved system might have the output proportional to the input, but it

needn't be so. Your stove top burner is an example. The input is the control

knob. You turn it to one of its settings, somewhere between off and fully on.

The plant is the burner itself, which outputs heat. In this case the amount of

heat is proportional to the input.

distinguishes it from another type known as closed-loop systems. These systems

utilize feedback, which is derived from the output. Here is a block diagram of

a closed-loop system.

Figure

2. Closed loop control system.

Continuing with the kitchen theme, your oven is a closed loop system. You

input the temperature you desire and the plant (oven) outputs heat. As the

oven heats up, the thermostat provides feedback to the oven, which in turn

reduces the heat output. Eventually, steady-state is reached at the desired

temperature. Now, it is possible to make this system work with an open-loop

system, but the design engineer must have near-perfect knowledge of how much

heat output will sustain the desired operating temperature. If he is

inaccurate or something changes in the heat balance equation, the oven will

not operate at the desired temperature.

simple design more accurate

less sensitive to change in

accuracy depends on calibration

environment

unlikely to become unstable smooth response

wider bandwidth

can become unstable

If we restrict ourselves to linear systems, then we may take over a wide range

of mathematics especially suited for these systems. The technique uses the

Laplace transform. The details are unimportant for now, but it provides a

great simplification. Let me explain how.

of a voltage that varies with time, vin(t),then typically the output vout(t) is

the solution to some complicated set of differential equations. But if you

convert the input and output into their Laplace transforms, where

The new independent variable is "s", which can be interpreted as the spatial

frequency, with units of cycles/meter. It is also possible to reverse the

Laplace transform, therefore recovering the output in its original form (i.e.

voltage or current as a function of time). For example -1{R(s)} = vin(t).

functions:

{F(s)} Laplace domain: F(s) = {f(t)}

a (constant) 1/s

at (ramp) a/s2

e-at (exponential) 1/(s + a)

sin(at) a/(s2 + a2)

cos(at) s/(s2 + a2)

For linear systems, the simple relationship between R(s) and C(s):

where G(s) is known as the transfer function. The transfer function can be

determined from detailed analysis of the plant, using differential equations.

So this method is not particularly simple if this were the only problem to

solve. The great simplification occurs when plants are combined with other

plants and feedback loops. If the transfer function of each plant is known,

then they may be combined using ordinary algebraic methods instead of

differential equations. All that is required is to obtain the solution is to

take the inverse Laplace transform after all the manipulation is completed.

Its similar to reducing a complicated circuit in to an equivalent impedance

and voltage (Thevenin equivalent).

Change variables from time "t" to spatial frequency "s" using the Laplace

transform.

relationship between the input and output (i.e. a single transfer function).

Change back to the original variable t using the inverse Laplace transform.

Let's see this in action on a closed-loop system. All the signals are now

represented as functions of the new variable s.

Here, we have two elements, the plant with transfer function, G, and feedback

transfer function, H. The action of the summing junction is to subtract the

feedback signal B(s) from the input R(s) with the result known as the error

signal, E(s) = R(s) - B(s).

relationships:

If we want to know the relationship between the output and the input (and who

wouldn't?) we eliminate the extra variable.

C = G E

= G(R-B)

= G(R - HC)

C(1+GH) = GR

C/R = G/(1+GH)

Again we have a relatively simple relationship between the input and the

output. In fact the term G/(1+GH) is also a transfer function for the closed-

loop system. If we were to give a separate label like CLTF (closed-loop

transfer function), then

C(s) = CLTF(s)R(s)

possible to reduce a complication block diagram into a single transfer

function. If you were to analyze some complicated weapons system of computers

and hardware, eventually you could (theoretically) reduce its operation to a

few transfer functions which connect the input variables to the output

variables.

This is the reverse process of the systems approach where large projects are

divided into smaller ones. We would expect it to work both ways of course.

When learning how things work it is always better to start with the big

picture and then focus on the details as they become important.

System Response

Since the majority of control systems used in weapons are closed-loop systems,

we now consider how a generic system will respond to a step change in the

input. An example might be a missile on a heading of 330o responding to a new

input course of 270o. How the system responds will depend on the exact nature

of the transfer function. There are three main ways in which the system can

respond:

Under-damped response. The system will change the output quickly to the new

value but in the process will overshoot the desired output. The output will

settle into the new value after one or more oscillations. If we plot the

response, it might look like:

Figure

4. Response of under-damped system.

The output will always overshoot the desired output, and the maximum value is

called the peak overshoot. When the output oscillates (goes above and below

the final value at least once), the systems is considered to be under-damped.

The length of time it takes the system to reach its final value is called the

settling time.

Over-damped. In this case, the response is quite slow. The output will

sluggishly approach its final value and there will be no overshoot.

Critically damped. This is the dividing line between over and under damping.

Critically damping may or may not overshoot the final value, but there will be

no oscillation. Critical damping reaches it final value in the minimum amount

of time. There is only a small range of parameters which will achieve critical

damping, and therefore it is rarely achieved. Critical damping should be

thought of as an idealized situation that differentiates between over and

under damping.

Figure 6. Response of critically damped system.

damped, it depends on the application. For instance, if the system cannot

tolerate any overshoot whatsoever, it would be wise to make the system

slightly over-damped. On the other hand, if the input is constantly changing,

and the quickest initial response is needed, then the system should be

slightly under-damped.

When the shocks are new, the car will respond quickly to a step change in

input (i.e. a bump in the road). The car will usually overshoot and may or may

not oscillate. The system is probably just slightly under-damped.

As the shocks age, the dampers wear out, and the system will become more

under-damped. When a bump is encountered, the car will oscillate a few cycles

before settling down.

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