KD6031 - Instrumentation and Control of Dynamical Systems

What will I learn on this module?

This module shows you how to use modern control design techniques based on state-space differential equations governing a dynamical system. You will also cover instrumentation techniques that are required for practical implementation of control algorithms. Upon completion of the module, you will be able to design instrumentation and control systems; implement and evaluate them using relevant software packages. There are two main themes:
• Conventional and modern control design and analysis
• Description of dynamic control systems using differential equations, transfer functions, and state-space representation.
• Control system analysis, including dynamic responses of systems, stability and controllability of systems.
• Control system design, including design via open- and closed-loop systems, state and output feedback controls
• Analysis and design of digital systems.
• Use of software packages for simulation of control systems.
• Range, span, nonlinearity, hysteresis, resolution, ageing effects.
• Dynamic modelling of sensors using transfer functions and state-space methods.
• Signal conditioning: loading effects, bridge circuits, correction of non-linearity, effects of feedback, amplifier limitations.
• Noise and interference in instrumentation systems and estimation of errors.
• Signal recovery from noise interference.
• Computerised data acquisition systems including ADCs and a range of modern instrumentation protocols.
• Use software packages for simulation of instrumentation systems.

How will I learn on this module?

You will experience a wide range of learning and teaching approaches in this module. The theoretical basis of the subject will be presented in the lectures, labs, and group projects. The module will be taught on a problem driven basis that promotes your autonomous learning. A key component of the module is technology enhanced learning through the use of relevant software packages such as MATLAB/Simulink, LabVIEW, Python, and C++, etc. Experience of these packages will directly increase your employability skills. Knowledge acquired from lectures and labs will be applied through practical work, particularly in the development of practical and working instrumentation and control systems, which is highly valued by industry and strongly applicable to careers in research.
Lectures will be given in a computer-based environment and allow you to both familiarise yourself with simulation software and design, simulate and evaluate control and instrumentation systems. Such a setting provides the opportunities for formative assessment.
Summative assessment is composed of a formal assignment report and a small group project. The assignment report is based on computer modelling and theories that is appropriate to this level. You are provided with written feedback on the report and in a plenary format designed to promote dialogue around the assessment. A project will be undertaken in small groups, providing you the opportunity to develop team-working skills in the instrumentation and control system design context. You will also receive feedback on the group project.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

In addition to direct contact with the module team during lectures and seminars, you are encouraged to develop your curiosity by making direct contact with the module team either via email or the open-door policy operated throughout the programme. You will also be regularly referred to supporting resources including relevant texts and multimedia relevant to the module. References to these resources will be made available through the e-learning portal and in lectures and labs.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Determine which control algorithms fit better to a control problem assessing their limitations (AHEP4-C5, M5)

2. Apply appropriate engineering procedures to design a particular control system based on design specifications ( AHEP4- C5, M5, M12)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Predict and appraise the performance of control algorithms using appropriate tools, providing practical solutions from specification for a control or instrumentation system. ( AHEP4-C5, C12, M5, M12)

4. Acquire practical demonstration, communication, and group project presentation skills (AHEP4-M17).

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. Manage time, resources, health & safety efficiently and work effectively both individually and as a member of a team through a group project (AHEP4-C11, M14, M11, M14).

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment within this module is performed in the lecture sessions as problems and puzzles are solved interactively. Example case studies may also be used in the lecture session as examples of key topics. Additionally, within the lecture content some formative assessment will be performed in the format of simple quizzes to determine what has been understood.

The summative assessment of the module is composed of the following:

1. Coursework (CW): Group project (weighted 50%) addressing LO1, LO4, LO5.
Students will work together in small groups to build a practical and working instrumentation and control system. Each group will prototype a working design and ensure that the design is fit for purpose. The project will typically consists of a number of work-packages providing each team member the opportunity to lead a package. The final group report should include a section detailing each student’s contribution. This will then be used to assess each student individually, based on the quality of their corresponding contributions. Each student’s final grade will consist of a group grade (50%) shared by all and an individual grade (50%).

2. Coursework (CW): Individual coursework (weighted 50%) addresses LO2, LO3.
The assignment paper will typically contain two sections (Section A and Section B). Each section is worth 50 % of the module mark. Each section will be made up of 2 design problems to solve. Feedback is provided to students individually and in a plenary format both written and verbally to help students improve and reflect on their own learning.





Module abstract

Control is about changing or modifying the behaviour of a system, by some external means or actions, so that it behaves in a desired way and this regardless of any perturbation acting on the system. A system can be anything from a car to an airplane or a chemical reactor or simply your room. For example, if you want to change your room temperature (behaviour), then you have to turn your heater on or off (action) depending on whether it is cold or hot. In this module you will learn how to control various physical systems by designing and applying the appropriate control actions. For this you will first learn how to mathematically models systems, how to analyse them, how to derive the most appropriate controller for that system. You will also learn how to test your controller performance by simulation and practically implement the controller using the proper instrumentation methods.

Course info

UCAS Code F300

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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