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The University of Southampton

ELEC6240 Digital Control System Design (MSc)

Module Overview

This module is taught together with ELEC3206 Digital Control System Design. ELEC6240 has higher requirements on the desired learning outcomes which will be assessed by a different set of coursework.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To introduce the fundamentals of control theory as applied to digital controllers or sampled data control systems in general, and to familiarise the student with the use of the MATLAB Control Toolbox.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Z transform analysis of sampled data feedback loops
  • Stability theorems and root locus techniques
  • A suite of techniques for digital controller design
  • Optimal control design method
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of the key implementation issues in digital control systems design


Introduction Basics of z transform theory - Inverse z transform - Convolution - Recursion relation - Realisability Sampling and reconstruction of signals - Zero order hold/D->A conversion - Shannon's sampling theorem; aliasing and folding - Choice of the sampling period in sampled-data control systems - Pulse transfer function and analysis of control systems - Mapping of poles and zeroes Case study: PID digital control Continuous-time state-space systems and their discretisation - Controllability and observability under discretisation - Intersample behaviour Realisation theory - Canonical forms - Minimality - Internal- and BIBO-stability, and relation between the two Controller design via pole placement - Continuous-time-based design techniques - Deadbeat control Case study: root-locus based digital control design Observers and their use in state-feedback loops - Observer-based controllers - The separation principle Optimal control design - Finite Horizon LQR - Infinite Horizon LQR

Learning and Teaching

Preparation for scheduled sessions18
Completion of assessment task10
Wider reading or practice46
Follow-up work18
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Ogata. Discrete time control systems. 

Computer requirements. The students require access to Departmental PC's with MATLAB 6.1 plus control toolbox in order to experiment with and verify the codes given



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 20%
Examination  (2 hours) 80%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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