KD6031 - Instrumentation and Control of Dynamical Systems

What will I learn on this module?

This module shows you how to use modern control design techniques based on state-space differential equations governing a dynamical system. You will also cover instrumentation techniques that are required for practical implementation of control algorithms. Upon completion of the module, you will be able to design instrumentation and control systems; implement and evaluate them using relevant software packages. There are two main themes:

Classical control design and analysis. PID control and pole placement methods, Bode and Nyquist plots, Laplace transforms and z-transforms. Modelling of dynamical systems including for example: magnetic levitation, chemical processes, sustainable energy systems, particle detection, satellite positioning and the gyroscope. State feedback control design: state-space representation of systems, linear controllability and observability and rank condition. Linear feedback control design. Stability: asymptotic and global asymptotic stability, Lyapunov stability and Lyapunov equation. Estimation: Luenberger observer design. Digital control: Different equations, sampling effect in computers, ADC, DAC, ZOH, Z-transfer function, compensator design, stability analysis. Use of Matlab and Simulink software for simulation of control algorithms. Systems representation of instrumentation systems. Modelling of measurement systems including the effects of sensors.

Range, span, nonlinearity, hysteresis, resolution, ageing effects. Dynamic modelling of sensors using transfer functions and state-space methods. Signal conditioning: loading effects, bridge circuits, correction of non-linearity, effects of feedback, amplifier limitations. Noise and interference in instrumentation systems and estimation of errors. Signal recovery from noise interference. Computerised data acquisition systems including ADCs and a range of modern instrumentation protocols. Use of microcontrollers and inversion techniques. Use of Matlab and Simulink for simulation of instrumentation systems.

How will I learn on this module?

You will experience a wide range of learning and teaching approaches in this module. The theoretical basis of the subject will be presented in the lectures and seminar sessions and the module will be taught on a problem driven basis that promotes your autonomous learning. A key component of the module is technology enhanced learning through the use of relevant software packages such as Matlab and Simulink. Experience of these packages will directly increase your employability skills. Knowledge acquired from lectures and seminars will be applied through practical work, particularly in the development of computer programs which is highly valued by industry and strongly applicable to careers in research.

Seminars will be given in a computer-based environment and allow you to both familiarise themselves with simulation software and design, simulate and evaluate control and instrumentation systems. Such a setting provides an opportunity for formative assessment.

Summative assessment is composed of a formal report and a written closed book examination. The report is based on computer modelling that is appropriate to this level. You are provided with written feedback on the report and in a plenary format designed to promote dialogue around the assessment. You will also receive feedback on the examination.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

In addition to direct contact with the module team during lectures and seminars, you are encouraged to develop your curiosity by making direct contact with the module team either via email or the open door policy operated throughout the programme. You will also be regularly referred to supporting resources including relevant texts and multimedia relevant to the module. References to these resources will be made available through the e-learning portal and in lectures and seminars.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Determine which control algorithms fit better to a control problem assessing their limitations (UKSpec 3rd Ed. SM1m, SM3m, EA2m, EA4m)

2. Apply appropriate engineering procedures to design a particular control system based on design specifications (UKSpec 3rd Ed.SM3m, D2m, D4m)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Predict and appraise the performance of control algorithms using appropriate tools, providing practical solutions from specification for a control or instrumentation system. (UKSpec 3rd Ed. D3m, D4m, D7m)

4. Critically analyse the accuracy of measurement systems (UKSpec 3rd Ed. EP4m, EP8m)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Organise and critically appraise experimental data through a laboratory report. (UKSpec 3rd Ed. D6m,)

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment within this module is performed in the seminar sessions as problems and puzzles are solved interactively. Example case studies may also be used in the seminar session as examples of key topics. Within the lecture content some formative assessment will be performed in the format of simple quizzes to determine what has been understood.

The summative assessment of the module is composed of the following:
1. Laboratory report (weighted 20%) addressing LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
2. Closed book written examination (weighted 80%) addresses LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Feedback is provided to students individually and in a plenary format both written and verbally to help students improve and reflect on their own learning.





Module abstract

Control is about changing or modify the behaviour of a system, by some external means or actions, so that it behaves in a desired way and this regardless of any perturbation acting on the system. A system can be anything from a car, to airplane or a chemical reactor or simple your room. For example if you want to change your room temperature (behaviour), then you have to turn your heater on or off (action) depending on whether it is cold or hot. In this module you will learn how to control various physical systems by designing and applying the appropriate control actions. For this you will first learn how to mathematically models systems, how to analyse them, how to derive the most appropriate controller for that system. You will also learn how to test your controller performance by simulation and practically implement the controller using the proper instrumentation methods.

Course info

UCAS Code H600

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022 or September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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