Master Course Description

No: EE 448


Credits: 3

UW Course Catalog Description

Coordinator: Eric Klavins, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

Goals: To understand the function and operations of typical sensors and actuators used in automatic feedback control systems. To gain proficiency in instrumentation typically used in control systems development.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Use electronic measurement instruments to test and characterize control system components
  2. Design component electronic circuits typical of feedback control system compensators
  3. Assemble component circuits for feedback control systems
  4. Analyze and model component circuits for feedback control systems
  5. Close feedback control loops with compensators implemented with operational amplifier circuits
  6. Analyze stability properties of closed loop systems

Reference Texts: Modern Control Systems, R.C. Dorf & R.H. Bishop, 8th ed, Addison Wesley, 1998; Measurement Systems, Applications and Design, E.O. Doebelin, 4th ed, McGraw-Hill, 1990

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Elementary circuit theory, junior level laboratory experience
  2. Elementary circuit theory, first course in linear control theory
  3. Junior level laboratory experience
  4. First course in linear control theory


  1. Review of single input single output (SISO) linear control theory. Use of MATLAB and Simulink for control systems design and analysis.
  2. Implementation and testing of the performance of proportional, integral, derivative (PID) control laws on a typical servo system. Comparison of theoretical performance and stability predictions with experimental results.
  3. Use of instrumentation and procedures used in an electromechanical control systems laboratory to analyze and characterize control system components.
  4. Use of multimeters, oscilloscopes, and function generators.
  5. Assembly of analog circuits and measurement of their transfer functions.
  6. Modeling of DC motors and definition of experimental procedures for measurement of motor model parameters.
  7. Fitting of theoretical transfer functions to measured frequency response data (Bode amplitude and phase plots).
  8. Review of compensator design techniques for an electromechanical system, analysis of closed loop stability properties, and derivation of transfer functions for operational amplifier circuit schematics.
  9. Assembly and testing of operational amplifier circuits.
  10. Design of compensators for disturbance rejection in electromechanical systems. Closure of feedback loops with compensators implemented with operational amplifier circuits, measurement and analysis of open and closed loop performance of resulting system.
  11. Implementation of control algorithms in discrete time, programmed on a computer in an imperative programming language, and interfaced to hardware with a digital I/O card.

Course Structure: The class meets for up to two lectures a week. Actual number and duration of lectures is adjusted based on student needs for additional information as the course progresses. There are five laboratory projects plus a preliminary design study. Students submit written reports and present laboratory results for (selected) laboratories.

Computer Resources: The class requires access to PCs or workstations supporting MATLAB, Simulink, and the I/O toolbox. In addition, the course uses the software that comes with the Measurement Computing I/O cards.

Laboratory Resources: Access to electronics assembly benches and equipment, lab instrumentation as noted in "topics" above, experimental stations incorporating various elements. The EE department and the AA department both have control and robotic systems laboratories that support the class.

Grading: 100% laboratory reports

Outcome Coverage:

(a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering. Analysis of feedback control systems requires application of ordinary differential equations, transform methods, and complex analysis techniques. Engineering and science knowledge is required for systems modeling, covering classical mechanics and electromagnetic theory. (H)

(b) Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data. Each of the experiments requires the students to execute all these tasks. The design phase is limited to the compensators since the systems to be controlled are already built. (H)

(d) Ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams. The class is jointly listed with Aeronautics and Astronautics. Usually a few mechanical engineering students take the class as well. All experiments are done by teams of AA, EE and ME students. (L)

(e) An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems. All experiments pose typical engineering problems that a control systems engineer must solve. (M)

(g) An ability to communicate effectively. Lab reports are required to be well written documents, not just code listings and data sets. (M)

(k) An ablity to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for enginering practice. Students use MATLAB and an associated control system toolbox to solve problems and to support the experimental data analysis and presentation of results. (H)

Prepared By: Eric Klavins

Last revised: 4/25/07