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Control theory

To do this, a controller with the requisite corrective behaviour is required. This controller monitors the controlled process variable (PV), and compares it with the reference or set point (SP). The difference between actual and desired value of the process variable, called the error signal, or SP-PV error, is applied as feedback to generate a control action to bring the controlled process variable to the same value as the set point. Other aspects which are also studied are controllability and observability. On this is based the advanced type of automation that revolutionized manufacturing, aircraft, communications and other industries. This is feedback control, which is usually continuous and involves taking measurements using a sensor and making calculated adjustments to keep the measured variable within a set range by means of a 'final control element', such as a control valve. Extensive use is usually made of a diagrammatic style known as the block diagram. In it the transfer function, also known as the system function or network function, is a mathematical model of the relation between the input and output based on the differential equations describing the system. Control theory dates from the 19th century, when the theoretical basis for the operation of governors was first described by James Clerk Maxwell. Control theory was further advanced by Edward Routh in 1874, Charles Sturm and in 1895, Adolf Hurwitz, who all contributed to the establishment of control stability criteria; and from 1922 onwards, the development of PID control theory by Nicolas Minorsky.Although a major application of control theory is in control systems engineering, which deals with the design of process control systems for industry, other applications range far beyond this. As the general theory of feedback systems, control theory is useful wherever feedback occurs. Although control systems of various types date back to antiquity, a more formal analysis of the field began with a dynamics analysis of the centrifugal governor, conducted by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1868, entitled On Governors. A centrifugal governor was already used to regulate the velocity of windmills. Maxwell described and analyzed the phenomenon of self-oscillation, in which lags in the system may lead to overcompensation and unstable behavior. This generated a flurry of interest in the topic, during which Maxwell's classmate, Edward John Routh, abstracted Maxwell's results for the general class of linear systems. Independently, Adolf Hurwitz analyzed system stability using differential equations in 1877, resulting in what is now known as the Routh–Hurwitz theorem. A notable application of dynamic control was in the area of manned flight. The Wright brothers made their first successful test flights on December 17, 1903 and were distinguished by their ability to control their flights for substantial periods (more so than the ability to produce lift from an airfoil, which was known). Continuous, reliable control of the airplane was necessary for flights lasting longer than a few seconds. By World War II, control theory was becoming an important area of research. Irmgard Flügge-Lotz developed the theory of discontinuous automatic control systems, and applied the bang-bang principle to the development of automatic flight control equipment for aircraft. Other areas of application for discontinuous controls included fire-control systems, guidance systems and electronics. Sometimes, mechanical methods are used to improve the stability of systems. For example, ship stabilizers are fins mounted beneath the waterline and emerging laterally. In contemporary vessels, they may be gyroscopically controlled active fins, which have the capacity to change their angle of attack to counteract roll caused by wind or waves acting on the ship. The Space Race also depended on accurate spacecraft control, and control theory has also seen an increasing use in fields such as economics.

[ "Control theory", "Electrical engineering", "Control engineering", "nonlinear decoupling", "acceleration control", "motion synchronization", "Disk array controller", "Senses touch" ]
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