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Control Systems 2

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1. Stability of Linear, Time-Invariant Single-Input Single-Output Systems

We have previously considered how to obtain the mathematical model of a physical system. We will now focus on the analysis of such systems. Among the many forms of performance specifications used in design, the most important requirement is that the system is stable. An unstable system is generally considered to be useless. For the following stability discussion we will only deal with LTI SISO systems. Even for such a system the definition of stability can be given in many forms. We will consider the most important.

1.1 Bounded-Input Bounded-Output Stability

With zero initial conditions, a system is said to be bounded-input bounded-output (BIBO) stable if its output to a bounded input is also bounded.

For a bounded input u(t) and an output y(t):

( )

u t

M where M is a finite positive number

For y(t) to be also bounded:

y(t)

N

where N is also a finite positive number

It can be shown that poles on the right-hand side of the s-plane violate the BIBO stability requirement of a bounded output. (Proof can be found in Kuo, Section 6.2). Thus, for BIBO stability, the roots of the characteristic equation, or the poles of G(s), cannot be located in the right-half of the s-plane or on the jω-axis, but they must all lie in the left-half s-plane. A system is said to be unstable if it is not BIBO stable.

Note: If a system has roots on the jω-axis, the output to a sinusoidal input has the form tsinω o t, which is unbounded and therefore unstable.

1.2 Zero-Input Stability or Asymptotic Stability

Zero-input stability refers to the stability condition when the input is zero, and the system is driven only by its initial conditions. If the zero-input response y(t), subject to the finite initial condition, y (k) (t 0 ), reaches zero as t approaches infinity, the system is said to be zero-input stable, or stable; otherwise the system is unstable. Zero-input stability is also known as asymptotic stability.

For a system to be zero-input stable, the real parts of the poles must be negative. (Proof can be found in Kuo, Section 6.3). Thus, for a linear time-invariant system, BIBO and zero-input stability both have the same requirement that the roots of the characteristic equation all be located in the left-hand s-plane. Thus if a linear system is BIBO stable, it must also be zeroinput stable. Thus for linear time-invariant systems we will refer to systems as being stable or unstable. We will also refer to systems with poles on the jω-axis as marginally stable or marginally unstable.

Control Systems 2

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Stability Conditions of LTI SISO Systems

Stable

All roots in the left-half of the s-plane:

σ i < 0 for all i.

Marginally stable or Marginally unstable

Unstable

At least one root on the jω-axis provided no roots in the right-half of the s-plane. σ i = 0 for any i, no σ i > 0 for all i.

At least one root in the right-hand s-plane. σ i > 0 for any i.

1.3 Methods for Determining Stability

It is clear from the above that the stability of LTI SISO systems can be determined by checking the location of roots of the characteristic equation. Root solving is difficult for 4 th order systems and higher, thus other methods are used namely:

1. Routh-Hurwitz criterion: This method is an algebraic method that provides information on the absolute stability of a liner time-invariant system that has a characteristic equation with constant coefficients. This criterion tests if any root is on the right-half of the s-plane and also indicates the number of roots lying on the jω-axis and in the right- half s-plane.

2. Nyquist Criterion: In general, this method gives information on the difference between the number of poles and zeros of the closed-loop transfer function that are on the right- hand s-plane. During this course we shall only be applying the Nyquist criterion to minimum phase systems. In this case, the criterion simply determines whether all the roots of a system lie on the left-hand s-plane or not, i.e. whether it is stable or unstable.

3. Bode Plots: For minimum phase systems, stability information can also be obtained from magnitude and phase plots.

4. Nichols Plots: Stability information can also be inferred from these plots.

1.4. Routh-Hurwitz Criterion

The Routh-Hurwitz criterion determines whether the roots of a characteristic equation lie on the left-hand s-plane, imaginary axis or on the right-hand s-plane without actually solving the equation. This criterion can therefore be applied to determine whether an LTI system is stable, unstable or marginally unstable. Consider the characteristic equation of a linear time-invariant SISO system of the form: where all the coefficients are real.

Eq. 1

In order for Eq. 1 not to have roots with positive real parts, it is necessary that:

1. All the coefficients of the equation have the same sign.

2. No term of the polynomial is missing.

Control Systems 2

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The two necessary conditions for Eq. 1 to have no roots in the right-half s-plane can be easily checked by inspection of the equation. Unfortunately, they are not sufficient since it is possible to have all coefficients with no change in sign but still have roots on the right half of the s-plane.

1.4.1. Hurwitz Criterion

The Routh-Hurwitz criterion is based on the Hurwitz criterion, which states that:

The necessary and sufficient condition that all roots of the characteristic equation lie on the left half of the s-plane is that the equation’s Hurwitz determinant, D k , k=1, 2, ……, n must be positive.

The Hurwitz determinants of Eq. 1 are given by:  where the coefficients which are larger then n or negative are replaced by zeros. It is clear that for higher order systems the use of Hurwitz criterion is limited due to the required evaluation of high order determinants. Fortunately, Routh simplified the process by introducing tables to replace the Hurwitz determinants.

1.4.2. Routh-Hurwitz Criterion

The Routh-Hurwitz Criterion is based on the formulation of the Routh table. The steps required in obtaining such a table are:

1. Arrange the coefficients of the characteristic equation in two rows

2. Form the following rows by the operation indicated below

These steps are illustrated for a sixth order equation given by: For such an equation the Routh table is given by:

Control Systems 2

KS Note that the column of s’s is just there for reference and that the last row of the Routh table should always be the s 0 row.

Using the Routh table the following conclusions can be made:

1. The roots of the equation are all in the left half of the s-plane if all the elements of the first column of the Routh table are of the same sign.

2. The number of changes of sign in the elements of the first column equals the number of roots with positive real parts.

1.4.3. Special Cases

The following difficulties may occur when formulating the Routh table:

1. The first element in any one row of the Routh table becomes zero, but the others are not.

2. The elements in one row become all zero.

In the first case, if a zero appears in the first element of a row, the elements in the next row will all become infinite. To remedy this situation, we replace the zero element in the first column by an arbitrary small positive number ε, and then proceed with the Routh table.

If all elements in one row of the Routh table are zero before the table is properly terminated, this indicates one or more of the following:

1. The equation has at least one pair of real roots with equal magnitude but opposite sign.

2. The equation has one or more pairs of imaginary roots.

3. The equation has pairs of complex-conjugate roots forming symmetry about the origin.

When an entire row is zero we obtain the auxiliary equation, A(s) = 0, which is formed from the coefficients of the row just above the row of zeros. The auxiliary equation is always an even polynomial; i.e. only even powers of s appear. The even polynomial is a factor of the characteristic polynomial and therefore the roots of this auxiliary equation are also roots of the original characteristic equation.

When a row with all zero elements is encountered, the following steps should be followed:

1. Form the auxiliary equation A(s) = 0 by using the coefficients from the row just preceding the row of zeros.

Control Systems 2

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2. Take the derivative of the auxiliary equation with respect to s, this gives . 3. Replace the row of zeros with the coefficients of .

4. Continue with the Routh table in the usual manner with the newly formed row replacing the zeros.

5. Interpret the first column of the Routh table in the usual manner.

The entries of the Routh Table starting from the row of the even polynomial used for the auxiliary equation to the end of the table apply only to the even polynomial. The number of sign changes in the first column from the even polynomial to the end of the table equals the number of roots of this polynomial in the right-half of the s-plane. As the roots of the even polynomial are symmetrical about the origin, it has equal numbers of roots on the left-half of the s-plane as it does on the right-half. If any roots of the even polynomial remain they must lie on the imaginary axis. An even polynomial that does not have roots on the right-half of the s-plane can only have imaginary roots. Depending on the order of the even polynomial, these roots could be determined analytically from the auxiliary equation.