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Chapter 6 The Stability of Linear Feedback Systems The Concept of Stability A very important factor regarding the transient

performance of a system is the stability of the system. Definition of a stable system: A stable system is a dynamic system with a bounded response to a bounded input. The concept of stability:




Stable: If the right circular cone is resting on its base and is tipped slightly, it returns to its original equilibrium position. Neutral: If the cone rests on its side and is displaced slightly, it rolls with no tendency to leave the position on its side. Unstable: If the cone is placed on its tip and release, it falls onto its side.

A linear system is stable if and only if the absolute value of its impulse response, g(t), integrated over an infinite range, is finite. Stability defined by the s-plane location of the poles: The poles in the lefthand portion of the s-plane result in a decreasing response for disturbance input. Poles on the j-axis and in the right-hand plane result in a neutral and an increasing response, respectively. The poles of desirable dynamic system must lie in the left-hand portion.

Example: The potential destabilizing effect of feedback in audio amplifier and speaker system: In addition to other audio inputs, the sound coming from the speaker itself may be sensed by the microphone. This is an example of positive feedback---the output from the feedback path is added to the external input. How strong this particular signal is depends upon the distance between the loudspeaker and the microphone. If the distance is

too short, the system will be unstable. The result is an excessive amplification and distortion of audio signal and an oscillatory squeal. Example: Unstable bridge: The first bridge across the Tacoma Narrows at Puget Sound, Washington, was opened to traffic on July 1, 1940. The bridge was found to oscillate whenever the wind blew. After four months, a wind produced an oscillation that grew in amplitude until the bridge broke apart.

The beginning of oscillation

The catastrophic failure

For a linear system, the closed-loop system transfer function is

When N=0, the output response for an impulse function input is

Stable system: A necessary and sufficient condition --All the poles of the system transfer function have negative real parts. Marginally stable system: The characteristic equation has simple roots on the imaginary axis with all other roots in the left half-plane. The steady-state output will be sustained oscillations for a bounded input, unless the input is a sinusoid whose frequency is equal to the magnitude of the j-axis roots. For this case, the output becomes unbounded. Only certain bounded inputs will cause unbounded output. Unstable system: The characteristic equation has at least one root in the right half s-

plane or repeated j? roots. The output is unbounded for any inputs. Example: A marginally stable system If the characteristic equation of a closed-loop system is

then the system is said to be marginally stable. The system has simple roots, +j4 and -j4, on jw-axis. If it is excited by sinusoid of frequency, w=4, the output becomes unbounded. If we calculate the roots of the characteristic equation in order to answer whether a system is stable or not, we have determined much more information than is necessary. Therefore, several methods have been developed that provide the required yes or no answer to the stability only question:

The s-plane approach; The frequency plane (j) approach; The real frequency approach is outlined in Chapter 9. The time-domain approach.

The Routh-Hurwitz Stability Criterion

Maxwell and Vishnegradsky first considered the question of stability of dynamic systems. In the late 1800s, A. Hurwitz and E.J. Routh published independent-ly a method of investigating the stability of a linear system by considering its characteristic equation of the system.

For a characteristic equation

it is necessary to determine whether any one of the roots lies in the right half of the s-plane to ascertain the stability of the system. Write the equation in factored form

Multiplying the factors together, we find that

For all the roots to be in the left-hand plane, all the coefficients of the above polynomial must have the same sign (by comparing it with q(s) for the sign of the corresponding coefficients). It is also necessary that all the coefficients for a stable system be nonzero. These requirements are necessary but not sufficient.

If the coefficients have different sign, the system is unstable. If they have the same sign, we still need to ascertain the stability.

The Routh-Hurwitz Criterion is based on ordering the coefficients of the characteristic equation

into an array or scheduled as

The Relative Stability of Feedback Control Systems The Routh-Hurwitz criterion provides a partial answer to the question of stability as it only ascertains the absolute stability of a system. The question as how stable a system is still remains unanswered. Therefore, if the system satisfies the Routh-Hurwitz criterion and is absolutely stable, it is desirable to determine the relative stability.

Relative stability can be investigated by the relative damping of each root of the characteristic equation. Relative stability can be defined as the property measured by the relative real part of each root or pair of roots. Thus r2 is relatively more stable than r1. Relative stability can also be defined in terms of speed of response and overshoot.

One approach in the s-plane is to extend the Routh-Hurwitz criterion. This can be accomplished by utilizing a change of variable to shift the s-plane axis. The correct magnitude to shift the axis is obtained on a trial-and-error basis. Then, without solving q(s) one may determine the real part of the dominant roots r1.

Example 6.6 Axis shift Consider a simple third-order characteristic equation

As a first try, let sn=s+2 and note there is no zero in the first column in the Routh-Hurwitz array. However, upon setting the shifted variable sn equal to s+1, we obtain

Then the Routh array is established as

Clearly, there are roots on the shifted imaginary axis that can be obtained from the auxiliary polynomial

The shifting of the s-plane axis to ascertain the relative stability of a system is a very useful approach, particularly for high-order systems with several pairs of closed-loop complex conjugate roots.

The Stability of State Variable Systems

So far, to ascertain the stability of a system, we investigate the characteristic equation of the transfer function and utilize the RouthHurwitz criterion. If the system under investiga-tion is represented by a signal-flow graph state model, we obtain the characteristic equation by evaluating the flow graph determinant. Example 6.8 Stability of a second-order system

The system is described by two differential equations

Using Masons flow graph, we note three loops:

where L1 and L2 do not share a common node. The determinant is

We multiply by s2 to obtain the characteristic equation

Since all the coefficients must have the same sign for a second-order system to be stable, we require K>3 for the stability. # A method of obtaining the characteristic equation directly from the vector differential equation. This method is based on the fact that the solution to the unforced system is an exponential function. The vector differential equation without input signal is

The solution is of exponential form, and we define a constant such that the solution for one state might be

If we let

and substitute into

we have


Rewrite the above equation as

The solution of this simultaneous equation has a nontrivial solution if and only if the determinant vanishes, that is, only if

The n th-order equation inis the characteristic equation, and the stability of the system can be readily ascertained. Example: Inverted pendulum Described in Example 3.4, the system matrix is

The characteristic equation can be obtained from


The characteristic equation indicates that there are two roots at =0, a root at , and a root at . So the system is unstable, The two roots because there is a root in the right-hand plane at at =0 will also result in an unbounded response.

The Determination of Root Location in the s-Plane

The relative stability of a feedback control system is directly related to the location of the closed-loop roots of the characteristic equation. It is often necessary and easiest simply to determine the value of the roots of the characteristic equation. This approach has become particularly attractive today due to the availability of digital computer programs for determining the roots of polynomials. For a low order system, it is usually simpler to utilize manual calculation methods. Synthetic division, which is based on the remainder theorem, can be used to determine the roots of a polynomial. Remainder theorem: Upon dividing the polynomial by a factor, the remainder is zero when the factor is a root of the polynomial. Example 6.10 Synthetic division To determine the roots of

We establish a table of synthetic division for a trial root of s=-1.

With a remainder of one, we then try s=-2.

Because the remainder is zero, one root is equal to C2 and the remaining roots may be obtained from the remaining polynomial (s2+2s+2) by using

the quadratic root formula. # Newton-Raphson method:

An iteration approach used in computer root-solving programs; A rapid method utilizing synthe-tic division to search for a root of the polynomial; It utilizes the rate of change of the polynomial at the estimated root in order to obtain a new estimate:

Calculation of q(sn) and q(sn) via synthetic division The process for a trial root may be written for the polynomial


where b0=q(sn), the remainder. When Sn is a root of q(s), the remainder is equal to zero and the remaining polynomial

may itself be factored.

The derivative evaluated at the nth estimate of the root, q(sn), may also be obtained by repeating the synthetic division process on the

coefficients. The value of q(sn) is the remain-der of this repeated synthetic division process. This process converges as the square of the absolute error. # Example 6.12 Third-order system

Comparing the coefficients of the two equations, we note that the sum of all the roots is -3.5 and the product of all the roots is -10. So as a first try, we use s1=-1.

Therefore a second estimate is

Choose a second estimate s2=-3.

Completing a table for s4=-2.50, the remainder is zero and the polynomial factors are q(s)= (s+2.5)(s2+s+4). #

Design Example: Tracked Vehicle Turning Control

The design of a turning control for a tracked vehicle involves the selection of K and a so that the system is stable and the steady-state error for a ramp command is less than or equal to 24% of the magnitude of the command.

The characteristic equation of the feedback system is

To find the stable region for K and a, we establish the Routh array as

For stability, we require

For r(t)=At,

So we have

For ess=23.8%A we require Ka = 42.