Automatic control

 
Research group leader: Professor Torsten Wik
 
Researchers in the Automatic Control research group are listed below.

About the Automatic control research area

Automatic control is an indispensable ingredient in contemporary design of machines and other systems of any complexity. Examples can be found in vehicles, robots, medical equipment, industrial processes, telecommunication systems, biotechnology and elsewhere. Automatic control is also a fundamental engineering discipline, established some fifty years ago, and now with applications ranging a wide spectrum. At the heart of automatic control is the analysis of dynamical systems and the use of feedback, i.e. when control actions are applied to a system, based on measurements, with the objective to compensate for disturbances, inaccurate system models etc.
 
Research in the Automatic control group concerns both fundamental questions in control methodology and applications of control in areas of industrial and societal interest. We are particularly interested in environmental and biological systems, applications in transportation and vehicle technology, and in systems and control aspects of electric power systems.
 
Automatic control is part of the curriculum in many of Chalmers educational programmes. We teach control at both undergraduate and graduate level, including the master’s programme Systems, control and mechatronics.

Research projects

Automatic control theory

> Fault detection and isolation
Nowadays, safety plays a crucial role everywhere, especially in those engineering application where human life might be in danger. In other cases, occurring malfunctions simply induce system breakdowns causing serious economic loss. Therefore, we invest more and more energy to invent new solutions to secure system design...

 
A typical control loop consists of a plant, a few sensors taking measurements of observable variables of the plant, a controller which uses the gathered measurements to compute future inputs to the plant, and, one or more actuators which apply the inputs prescribed by the controller...
 
This project studies the solution to optimal control problems, characterized by control input affine systems, affected by stochastic disturbances and in some cases also subject to state and/or control input constraints are carried out... 

Environmental and biological systems

In this research we aim at using the controllability of LEDs to adjust the light optimally to the needs of the grower and the needs of the plants.  New greenhouse remote sensing techniques, based on analysis of the light from the plants, are therefore being developed for the determination of suitable continuous online feedback signals to the lamp controller...
 
In order to fully exploit the advantages of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems, the water exchange should be as small as possible. This implies strong demands on the water treatment, e.g. the maintenance of an efficient nitrification, denitrification and organic removal...
 

Automotive control applications

The main research topic in the project concerns how a priori information regarding the future trip can be acquired and utilized to improve PHEV energy efficiency. The research covers aspects such as quasi static powertrain modeling, convex optimization and optimal control techniques such as Dynamic Programming...
 
In this project convex optimization approach is used to find the optimal sizing of combustion engine, electrical motor and batter simultaneously with the optimal energy management strategy. This requires appropriate models that describe how the electric motor and internal combustion engine sizes affect the power flows and cost of these components...
 
The Multi-Level Converter (MLC) is a power electronic converter which is modular in structure and hence provides ‘extra knobs’ to control and monitor the behavior of battery on cell level. The project aims at operation and control of MLC to optimize the performance of battery system to enhance the lifetime of battery pack...
 
A vital part of a system for closed-loop combustion control is sensors providing combustion information that can be fed back to the controller. This project investigates the use of a crankshaft integrated torque sensor for this purpose...
 
> Torque sensing in heavy-duty powertrains
In this project the potential use of placing the ABB torque sensor (Torductor) between the flywheel and the gearbox is explored. In particular the research is focused on two applications; zero torque prediction and combustion diagnosis...
 
> Intelligent transport systems
Advanced control techniques implemented on available actuators such as traffic lights or variable speed limits give the chance to reduce the possibility of traffic congestions or incidents. In addition, with the help of surveillance system, accidents can be detected in time and suitable control measures can be taken to overcome or decrease...

Electric power applications

The overall objective of this project is to investigate control methods for voltage source converter based HVDC transmission systems. The intension is to analyse the dynamics of HVDC systems from a control and supervision perspective and propose robust controllers...
 
> Wind power turbine control
The goal of the previous project project ’Stochastic Model Predictive Control of Wind Turbines’ was to develop a concept ready novel control architecture for a wind turbine control with extended load mitigation capabilities and power output improvement. The goal of this project has been reached with the following results...
 

Published: Wed 05 Sep 2012. Modified: Mon 09 Oct 2017