AAE 36401: Control System Laboratory

Credits:     1

Contact hours:     1

Instructor:     Professor Frazho

Text:     Notes furnished by instructor.

Course Description:     A laboratory course designed to illustrate fundamental aspects of dynamics and control. Dynamical modeling includes rigid body rotation, Coulomb friction, viscous friction, saturation, resonance frequency and identification. Controller design includes the proportional integral and derivative (PID) controller, eliminating integral windup, pole placement and an introduction to the linear quadratic regulator (LQR) controller.

Offered:    Fall and Spring

Pre-requisite:    AAE 36400

Co-requisite:    None

Required:    Yes

Student Learning Outcomes:
On completing this course the student shall be able to:

  1. To design experiments to identify the parameters in linear and nonlinear mechanical systems, including Columb friction.
  2. Set up experiments to estimate natural frequencies in mechanical systems.
  3. Program Simulink models of the mechanical systems they identified, and compare these Simulink models to the physical system.
  4. Implement PID controllers to control linear and certain nonlinear mechanical systems with saturation and Columb friction.
  5. Use pole placement to control linear and certain nonlinear mechanical systems with saturation and Columb friction.
  6. Implement LQR to control linear and certain nonlinear mechanical systems with saturation and Columb friction.
  7. Apply PID, pole placement and LQR controllers to have linear and certain nonlinear mechanical systems follow a specified path.

Relationship of Course to Program Outcomes

    Program Learning Outcomes Included?
a An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering Yes
b An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data Yes
c An ability to design an aerospace system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health, and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability No
d An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams Yes
e An ability to identify, formulate, and solve aerospace engineering problems Yes
f An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility No
g An ability to communicate effectively Yes
h An understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context No
i A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning No
j A knowledge of contemporary issues in aerospace engineering No
k An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for aerospace engineering practice Yes


  1. The cart experiment Columb friction and saturation(1)
  2. PID controllers for the cart and integral windup(1)
  3. The gantry experiment its dynamic model and resonance frequency(1)
  4. State space integral controllers, and pole placement for the gantry experiment(2)
  5. The inverted pendulum experiment its dynamic model and state space(1)
  6. LQR controllers for the inverted pendulum(2)
  7. The helicopter experiment and its dynamic mode(1)
  8. Identification of the parameters in the helicopter model including Columb friction and motor gains(1)
  9. PID controllers for the helicopter experiment(2)
  10. LQR controllers for the helicopter experiment(2)

Revision History:
Format updated: January 31, 2011