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Dec 18th, 2014


In the first part of this assignment, the Routh-Hurwitz method for determining the range of
parameter values for stability of a feedback control system will be verified using Matlab
simulation. In the second part, the Root locus method which can generate the path of the poles of
the closed loop system in the s-plane as a function of a parameter will be simulated in Matlab.
1) The Routh-Hurwitz method gives a necessary and sufficient criterion for stability of linear
feedback control systems. Given a characteristic equation as,

( s) an s n an1s n1 ... a1s a0 0

first a Routh table (or array) is formed as follows:

where the new entries can be computed iteratively using

Then, the number of roots in the right half-plane (RHP) can be determined (without actually
computing the roots) from the sign changes in the first column of the table above. No sign
changes in the first column means a stable system. There are two special cases that can occur:
Case 1. A zero in the first column but nonzero elements in the corresponding row: In this case, 0
is replaced by an and we take limit as and determine any sign changes as usual.
Case 2. n all zero row in the table: In this case, an auxiliary polynomial A(s) is formed using
the coefficients of the preceding row, its derivative with respect to s is taken and resulting
coefficients are used in the row of zeros. The roots of A(s) = 0 gives the roots which can be a pair
of symmetric real or imaginary poles or a quadruple of symmetric complex poles (or any
combination of these), and the information about rest of the roots is determined from the table as

The abovementioned Routh-Hurwitz method can be verified in Matlab by using the pole()
function to directly compute the roots of the characteristic equation. For the case of the
characteristic equation as a function a single parameter, it is possible to generate a plot displaying
the movement of the poles as the parameter varies.
2) The Root locus method generates a graph showing how the roots of the characteristic
equation move around the s-plane (the path of the roots) as a single parameter varies. Assuming a
characteristic equation of the form,

( s ) 1 KG ( s ) 1 K

n( s )
d ( s)

the root locus can be sketched by following the steps as outlined below:
Step 1. Factor G(s) in terms of n poles (pi) and m zeros (zi), and locate the open-loop poles and
zeros in the s-plane (x=poles, o=zeros). Locus begins at a pole and ends at a zero. The number of
separate loci is equal to n-m. The root loci are always symmetrical with respect to real axis.
Step 2. Locate the segments on the real axis that belong to root locus from the left of an odd
number of poles and zeros.
Step 3. The loci approaches to zeros at infinity along the asymptotes centered at

pi zi
2k 1
, k 0,1,..., (n m 1)

A and A as

Step 4. Determine the points at which locus crosses the imaginary axis using the Routh-Hurwitz
Step 5. Determine the breakaway point (if any) on the real axis by finding the roots through

( s) 1 KG( s) 0 K

G( s)

dG ( s)
Step 6. Determine the angle of locus departure from complex poles and the angle of locus arrival
at complex zeros, using the phase criterion at the pole and zero locations as

arg( G ( s )) k 2 , k int eger

The abovementioned Root locus method can be simulated in Matlab by using the rlocus()
1. The characteristic equation of a feedback control system is given as

s 3 (1 K ) s 2 10s (5 15K ) 0.
Assuming K > 0, determine the range of K for a stable system by first using the Routh-Hurwitz
method and then verify your result using the following Matlab code which directly computes the
roots of the characteristic equation and plots them:
for i=1:n
num=[1]; den=[1 1+K(i) 10 5+15*K(i)];
figure, plot(real(p), imag(p), 'x');grid;title('Roots of the
characteristic equation as a function of K')

2. In part 1, determine the maximum value of K before the system becomes unstable? Find the
frequency of oscillation of the system when K is equal to the maximum value.
3. The characteristic equation of a feedback control system is given as

s 12s 64s 2 128s

First, sketch the root locus of this system manually by following the six steps outlined in the
background section, then verify you sketch in Matlab by plotting the root locus using rlocus()
function as
num=[1]; den=[1 12 64 128 0];
rlocus(sys), grid
[k,poles]=rlocfind(sys) % used for interactive gain
%selection from the root locus