Implementing a full state feedback laboratory exercise in an introductory undergraduate control systems engineering course

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Robotics Research Center

Publication Date


Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Many mechanical engineering undergraduate students find the study of control systems engineering to be one of the more challenging subjects that they encounter. These challenges include working in the Laplace and frequency domains, learning new analysis techniques, as well as the breadth of topics that are typically covered in an introductory control systems class at the undergraduate level. The challenges faced by instructors consist of deciding which material to include, balancing the depth and breadth of understanding various topics, selecting the best learning activities for each technique, and providing meaningful hands on experimentation in a predominately theoretical course. Fortunately, control systems engineering is amenable to instruction through laboratory exercises, where students can try different control techniques and observe their effectiveness nearly in real-time. Some effort is required to adequately link theory to experimentation in a theoretical introductory course. In this paper, we describe the implementation of a new full-state feedback laboratory exercise which was designed to illustrate the efficacy of full state control of a fourth order system.

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