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# ME2142: Feedback Control Systems

## Part II: Frequency Response

Problem Set I
Solutions
October 2014

Problem 1
For the mechanical system described in Figure 1,

b
M

k
x

(a)

## Identify the appropriate boundary conditions. That is, based on

the information provided in the Figure, comment on the input
and output of the system.
Solution:
In this problem, the applied force, F (t), is the input. Since
we are interested in determining the resulting displacement (or
1

derivatives of the displacement, namely, velocity and acceleration), x(t), is the output.
(b)

## Derive a differential equation that best describes the relationship

between the input and output of the system.
Solution:
Consider the forces acting on the mass (Figure 2),
Applying Newtons second law of motion, we obtain,
m
x

kx
M

bx

m
x = F bx kx

(1)

m
x + bx + kx = F

(2)

or

(c)

## Hence derive the transfer function of the system.

Solution:
Applying Laplace transform to both sides of Equation 2, and
assuming zero initial conditions, we obtain,

ms2 + bs + k X(s) = F (s)
(3)
2

Since the transfer function is the ratio of the output over the
input, we obtain,
X(s)
F (s)

G(s) =
=
(d)

ms2

(4)

1
+ bs + k

(5)

## If the input to the system is 3sin(t), determine the steady state

sinusoid that best describes the output.
Solution:
In section 1.10 of the lecture notes, it is summarized that for a
sinusoidal input of Ao sin(t), the output of the transfer function
G(s) is obtained as:
(6)

## x(t) = Ao |G(j)| sin(t + 6 G(j))

In this problem, Ao = 3 and
1
+ bs + k
1
therefore, G(j) =
2
m(j) + b(j) + k
1
=
2
(k m ) + j(b)
G(s) =

and |G(j)| = p
6

(7)

ms2

(8)

(k m 2 )2 + (b)2


b
1
G(j) = tan
k m 2

(9)
(10)

## Substituting Equations 9 and 10 into Equation 6, we obtain:

x(t) = Ao |G(j)| sin(t + 6 G(j))



b
3
1
sin t tan
= p
k m 2
(k m 2 )2 + (b)2
(e)

## Suppose = 1, under what condition will the amplitude of the

output be at its peak value? Also determine the phase lag corresponding to this condition.

Solution:
when = 1, the amplitude of the output, x(t), is
3
p
(k m)2 + b2

(11)

## The amplitude is maximum, or is at its peak value when the

denominator of Equation 11 is a minimum. Clearly, this is so
when k = m. The phase lag corresponding to this condition (i.e.
k = m) is


b
1
= 90
(12)
tan
km
Please note that phase lag of 90 is equivalent to a phase of 90 .
Problem 2
This problem is extracted from Section 6.4 of R.J. Richards, Solving Problems in Control, Longman Scientific and Technical, 1993.
A vehicle is modelled as a mass-spring-damper system as shown in Figure
3. The mass of the vehicle is 1000kg, the spring stiffness is 40 kN m1 and
the damping factor of the damper is 80 kN m1 s. In this problem, the road
surface variation, y is the input and the displacement, x and the force, P are
outputs.
(a)

Derive the differential equation that best describes the relationship between the input and output displacements of the system.
Also derive a differential equation for the force transmitted to
Solution:
The independent input to the problem is the displacement of the
vehicle due to the surface of the road, i.e., y(t). This displacement is also the same displacement at the base of the spring and
damper in parallel in Figure 3. The force transmitted by the road
to the vehicle, i.e., P (t), is the sum of the forces in the spring
and damper. The forces and displcements that are to be calculated are derived based on the steady state equilibrium values.
Therefore,
the force transmitted to the vehicle by the road is:
P = k(y x) + b(y x)

(13)

x
M

Figure 3: Problem 2
and applying Newtons second law of motion on the vehicle mass,
we obtain:
m
x = P
= k(y x) + b(y x)

or m
x + bx + kx = by + ky

(b)

(14)
(15)

## Equations 13 and 15 are the differential equations that relate the

outputs, P (t) and x(t) to the input y(t).
Comment on why gravity is not reflected in the modelling specifically.
Solution:
Since the differential equations are derived based on the equilibrium displacements, the effect of gravity is already accounted for
in the model. If for instance, the extension of the spring is measured from its undeformed length, then, the weight of the mass
has to be accounted for. On the other hand, if the extension of
the spring is measured with respect to its extended position due
to the mass of the vehicle, then, we do not have to account for
the weight of the mass in the modelling.
5

(c)

Hence derive the transfer function of the system that relates the
output displacement, x(t), to the input displacement, y(t).
Solution:
Based on Equation 15 and assuming zero initial conditions,
m
x + bx + kx = by + ky

ms + bs + k X(s) = (bs + k) Y (s)
X(s)
therefore, G(s) =
Y (s)
bs + k
=
2
ms + bs + k
2

(d)

(16)

Calculate the amplitude and phase angle of x(t) when y(t) has
an amplitude of 0.05m at an angular frequency of 100rad s1 .
Solution:
bs + k
+ bs + k
k + jb
or G(j) =
(k m 2 ) + jb
q
k 2 + (b)2
therefore |G(j)| = q
(k m 2 )2 + (b)2
since G(s) =

ms2

b
b
tan1
k
k m 2

## substituting the values for the various parameters, we obtain:

p
(40000)2 + (80000 100)2
|G(j)| = p
(40000 1000 (100)2 )2 + (80000 100)2
= 0.626 



80000 100
80000 100
1
1
tan
and 6 G(j) = tan
40000
40000 1000 (100)2


8000000
= tan1 (200) tan1
9960000


0.8032
1
1
= tan (200) tan
1
= 89.72 141.22
= 51.5

## for a road displacement of 0.05m, the corresponding vehicular

displacement is:
|G(j)| 0.05 = 0.0313m
(e)

## Similarly, calculate the amplitude and phase angle of the force

developed in the suspension, i.e. P (t).
Solution:
From Equation 14,
m
x=P

(17)

## Applying Laplace Transform to both sides of the equation, we

obtain,
ms2 X(s) = P (s)
or P (j) = m 2 X(j)
therefore |P (j)| = m 2 |X(j)|
= 1000 (100)2 0.0313
= 313kN

and 6 P (j) = 6 m 2 + 6 X(j)
= 180 51.5
= 231.5
That is, the force P (t), lags the input displacement by 231.5 .
Problem 3
Consider the following transfer function:
G(s) =

30(s + 8)
s(s + 2)(s + 4)

(a)

## Sketch the asymptotic Bode plots (both magnitude and frequency

plots).
Solution:
The first step in the process of sketching the Bode magnitude
and phase plots is to re-write G(s) in terms of its constituent

## components, such that for each component, the low frequency

gain is 1.0. That is,
30(s + 8)
s(s + 2)(s + 4)

30 8 1 + 8s


=
2 4 (s) 1 + 2s 1 + 4s

30 1 + 8s


=
(s) 1 + 2s 1 + 4s

G(s) =

## The low frequency gain of G(s) is 30

. This is obtained by replac
ing s with j in G(s). Therefore,

30 1 + 8s


G(s) =
(s) 1 + 2s 1 + 4s

30 1 + j
8


G(j) =
j
(j) 1 + j
1
+
2
4
as 0, G(j)
Next we let

30
j

or |G(j)|

30
.

where
G1 (s) =

1
s

1
1+
1
G3 (s) =
1+
G2 (s) =

G4 (s) = 1 +

s
2
s
4

s
8

G5 (s) = 30

## Please note the arrangements of the components of G(s). They

are ordered in ascending order of corner frequencies. The final
term G5 (s) is a gain and it is possible to handle this term at the
beginning rather than at the end as in this example. It will be
8

## preferable to order the other terms as shown above, i.e. from

lowest corner frequency to highest corner frequency.
In the subsequent analysis, we shall plot the Bode magnitude and
phase plots for each of the components individually (magnitude
plot followed by phase plot). Subsequently, we will sketch the
composite magnitude plot, followed by the composite phase plot.
1. G1 (s) = 1s
This is a pole at the origin. The gain of this transfer function is:
1
j

1
|G(j)| =
j
or 20log10 |G(j)| = 20log10
G(j) =

## i.e. the plot has a slope of -20dB/decade, and at = 1rad/s,

20log10 |G(j)| = 0dB. The plot therefore passes through the
coordinate (0dB, 1rad/s). The magnitude plot for G1 (s) is shown
in Figure 4.
Similarly, the phase characteristics of G1 (s) is:
1
j
j
or =

or 6 G(j) = 90
G(j) =

2. G2 (s) =

1
1+ 2s

## This is a transfer function with a pole at 2 or a corner frequency

of 2 rad/s. We have already established the following approximations in the lecture notes. Accordingly,
Gain approximations:
For frequencies less than 2 rad/s, Gain = 0 dB. For Frequencies
greater than 2 rad/s, Gain decreases at a rate of 20 dB/decade
9

60

1
s

40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

## Figure 4: Gain plot for G1 (s)

(i.e. a slope of -20 dB/decade).
The Gain plot for G2 (s) is shown in Figure 6.
Phase approximations: For frequencies less than 0.2 rad/s (i.e.
one decade below the corner frequency of 2 rad/s), Phase = 0
corner frequency of 2 rad/s), Phase = 90
vary between 0 and 90 and at the corner frequency of 2 rad/s,
Phase=45 .
The Phase plot for G2 (s) is shown in Figure 7.
3. G3 (s) = 1+1 s
4

## Likewise, for this pole at 4 or at a corner frequency of 4 rad/s,

we can make similar approximations as for the pole at 2. The
corresponding gain and phase plots for G3(s) are shown in Figures 8 and 9 respectively.
4. G4 (s) = 1 + 8s
This transfer function is of a zero at -8 or a corner frequency of
8 rad/s. Following the approximations provided in the lecture
10

phase, degrees

1
s

20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

## Figure 5: Phase plot for G1 (s)

notes, we are able to sketch the magnitude and phase plots as in
Figures 10 and 11 respectively.
5. G5 (s) = 30
For this transfer function, both the gain and phase are constants
for all frequencies. The gain is 20log10 (30) = 29.54 dB and the
phase is 0 . The gain and phase plots for this transfer function
are shown in Figures 12 and 13 respectively.
In the subsequent discussion, we will sketch the composite Bode
magnitude or gain plot. We will sketch this systematically by
adding one component to another. For example, we will begin
by adding the components G1 (s) and G2 (s) and the resultant
is shown in Figure 14. Likewise, we can then continue to add
the gain plot of G3 (s) to the composite of G1 (s) and G2 (s). The
resultant gain plot for the first three components of G(s) is shown
in Figure 15.
Next we add the gain plot of G4 (s) to the previous resultant to
obtain the plot shown in Figure 16.
Finally we add the final component, G5 (s) to the previous resultant to obtain the composite gain plot for G(s) and this is shown
in Figure 17.
Next we shall construct the composite Bode Phase plot for G(s).
We shall adopt the same strategy as for the composite Bode Gain
plot. We shall begin with the phase plots of G1 (s) and G2 (s)
and find the composite of these plots, thereafter, we shall subsequently add the phase plot G3 (s) to the composite phase plot.
We shall continue this process until the phase plots of G4 (s) and
11

60

1
1+ 2s

40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

## Figure 6: Gain plot for G2 (s)

(b)

G5 (s) and also added to the composite phase plot at which point
this will be the phase plot of G(s).
The composite phase plot of G1 (s) and G2 (s) is shown in Figure
18.
We shall next add the phase plot of G3 (s) to the composite phase
plots of G1 (s) and G2 (s). This plot is shown in Figure 19.
We shall next add the phase plot of G4 (s) to the composite phase
plots of G1 (s), G2 (s) and G3 (s). This plot is shown in Figure 20
Finally, since G5 (s) is only a gain, it will have no phase contributions, i.e., its phase is zero for all frequencies. Hence the
composite phase plot for G(s) is also the composite plot of Figure 20.
Using Matlab, Octave or Scilab, generate the actual Bode plots
of the above transfer function. Compare the plots and comment
on the divergence between the asymptotic and actual Bode plots.
Solution:
The actual Bode magnitude plot is compared to the asymptotic
sketch that we had obtained previously is in Figure 21. Clearly,
12

1
1+ 2s

phase, degrees

0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

## Figure 7: Phase plot for G2 (s)

the differences between the two plots are very minor. The asymptotic sketch is a reasonable one and can be used in place of the
actual Bode magnitude plot.
Likewise, the actual Bode phase plot is compared with the asymptotic sketch in Figure 22. The agreement between the two plots
is not as good as the agreement between the magnitude plots,
but the variation between the plots is reasonable.

13

60

1
1+ 4s

40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

102

103

1
1+ 4s

phase, degrees

0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

14

s
8

60
40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

s
8

100

phase, degrees

80
60
40
20
0
20
101

100

101

102

15

103

60
40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

Phase, degrees

20
0
20
101

100

101

102

16

103

60

1 1
s 1+ 2s

40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

## Figure 14: Gain plot for G1 G2 (s)

Gain vs for G1 G2 G3 (s) =
60

1 1
1
s 1+ 2s 1+ 4s

40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

17

103

60

1 1
1
s 1+ 2s 1+ 4s

1+

s
8

40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

## Figure 16: Gain plot for G1 G2 G3 G4 (s)

Gain vs for G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 (s) =
60

30 1
1
s 1+ 2s 1+ 4s

1+

s
8

40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

18

103

## Phase vs for G1 G2 (s) =

1 1
s 1+ 2s

45

Phase, degrees

45

90

135

180

225
101

100

101

102

Figure 18: Phase plot for G1 G2 (s)

19

103

## Phase vs for G1 G2 G3 (s) =

60

1 1
1
s 1+ 2s 1+ 4s

15

30

Phase, degrees

75

120

165

210

255

300
101

100

101

102

Figure 19: Phase plot for G1 G2 G3 (s)

20

103

## Phase vs for G1 G2 G3 G4 (s) =

105

1 1
1
s 1+ 2s 1+ 4s

1+

s
8

60

15

30

Phase, degrees

75

120

165

210

255

300
101

100

101

102

Figure 20: Phase plot for G1 G2 G3 G4 (s)
21

103

60
40

Gain, dB

20
0
20
40
60
80
100
101

100

101

102

103

## Figure 21: Comparison of the actual and asymptotic gains

Comparing the actual and asymptotic phase

Phase, degrees

90

135

180

225
101

100

101