Closing the loop

Two new and three upgraded products are now available from The MathWorks for engineers developing closed-loop control systems.

The tools work within the company’s Simulink environment and expand the range of MathWorks products for modelling dynamic systems and designing closed-loop controllers.

As a result, control engineers can use Model-Based Design to develop control systems by modelling the behaviour of the system, designing the software, and then simulating the entire system to accurately predict and optimise performance.

For its part, the Simulink Control Design provides advanced functionality for performing linear analysis of nonlinear models. Using Simulink Control Design, engineers can extract linear approximations of a Simulink model to analyse characteristics such as time and frequency responses and pole-zero dynamics. A graphical user interface (GUI) and programming capabilities reduce the complexity and time required to develop the linearised models.

While the Simulink Parameter Estimation package calculates model parameters to match the response of Simulink models to the measured outputs of physical systems, eliminating the need to tune model parameters by trial and error or to develop independent optimisation routines.

The upgraded products include the Control System Toolbox, System Identification Toolbox and Simulink Response Optimization.

The Control System Toolbox provides specialised tools for designing and analysing controllers for closed-loop control of dynamic systems. This toolbox now provides an upgraded numerical engine that uses the LAPACK and SLICOT libraries for faster and more accurate computations.

The System Identification Toolbox, on the other hand, lets engineers build and evaluate linear models of dynamic systems from measured input-output data. This toolbox now offers identification and validation using frequency-domain data.

Finally, the Simulink Response Optimization package tunes design parameters in Simulink models by optimising time-based signals to meet user-defined constraints. It optimises scalar, vector, and matrix-type variables and constrains multiple signals at any level in the model. The new version contains new optimisation algorithms from the Optimization Toolbox and the Genetic Algorithm and Direct Search Toolbox for improved solution convergence.

The new and upgraded modelling tools enable engineers to merge fundamental-principle and data-driven modelling approaches to develop more accurate system models. New and enhanced control design products let control engineers apply linear analysis and control design methods to develop more responsive controllers and optimise control system performance.

Simulink Control Design, Simulink Parameter Estimation, Simulink Response Optimization, the Control System Toolbox, and the System Identification Toolbox are available immediately for Windows, UNIX/Linux, and Macintosh systems. Pricing starts at $1,000 for all products with the exception of the System Identification Toolbox, which starts at $900.

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