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Unformatted text preview: MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics 16.060: Principles of Automatic Control Fall 2003 PROBLEM SET 1 Solutions Problem 1 For example, the cruise control system in a car: the input is the desired speed and the output is the actual speed of the car. The controller is the cruise control computer, which compares the actual speed with the desired speed, and sets the throttle accordingly. The plant is the car driving on the road. The sensor is the tachometer. A source of disturbance could be a gear change, and a source of noise could be voltage ﬂuctuations on the power bus. (Of course, real cruise control systems are much more complicated and incorporate more than one sensor, but the basic idea is the same.) Without feedback, the controller would have to “guess” at a throttle setting, based only on the desired speed. If the model of the plant was absolutely perfect, then it could work, but the instant something about the car changed–e.g. it started going up a hill, or the engine began to wear out and run less eﬃciently–the car’s speed would also change and the controller would have no idea how to correct for it....
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