Wireless Control Systems A New Frontier in Automation

Networked systems (e.g. wireless networks) have a degree of unreliability in the sense that signals often arrive at irregular intervals, or do not arrive at all. Traditional control algorithms cannot handle this unreliability in communication. We therefore want to develop new control algorithms that robustly stabilize the closed-loop system, whilst taking into account the unreliability introduced by the networked communications.

PhD Candidate: Tom Gommans
Supervisor:  -
Promotor: Maurice Heemels
Project Financing: NWO/STW
Project Period: September 2011 - September 2015

In many control applications, controllers are nowadays implemented using communication networks in which the control task has to share the communication resources with other tasks. Despite the fact that resources can be scarce, controllers are typically still implemented in a time-triggered fashion, in which control tasks are executed periodically. This design choice often leads to over-utilization of the available communication resources, and/or causes a limited lifetime of battery-powered devices, as it might not be necessary to execute the control task every period to guarantee the desired closed-loop performance. In networked control systems with scarce communication resources arises the fundamental problem of determining optimal sampling
and communication strategies, where optimality needs to reflect both implementation cost (related to the number of communications) as well as control performance. It is expected that the solution to this problem results in control strategies that abandon the periodic time-triggered control paradigm.