© 2020

Controller Design for Distributed Parameter Systems


Part of the Communications and Control Engineering book series (CCE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Kirsten A. Morris
    Pages 1-11
  3. Kirsten A. Morris
    Pages 13-69
  4. Kirsten A. Morris
    Pages 71-102
  5. Kirsten A. Morris
    Pages 103-153
  6. Kirsten A. Morris
    Pages 155-190
  7. Kirsten A. Morris
    Pages 191-218
  8. Kirsten A. Morris
    Pages 219-252
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 253-287

About this book


This book addresses controller and estimator design for systems that vary both spatially and in time: systems like fluid flow, acoustic noise and flexible structures. It includes coverage of the selection and placement of actuators and sensors for such distributed parameter systems.

The models for distributed parameter systems are coupled ordinary/partial differential equations. Approximations to the governing equations, often of very high order, are required and this complicates both controller design and optimization of the hardware locations.

Control system and estimator performance depends not only on the controller/estimator design but also on the location of the hardware. In helping the reader choose the best location for actuators and sensors, the analysis provided in this book is crucial because neither intuition nor trial-and-error is foolproof, especially where multiple sensors and actuators are required, and moving hardware can be difficult and costly. The mechatronic approach advocated, in which controller design is integrated with actuator location, can lead to better performance without increased cost. Similarly, better estimation can be obtained with carefully placed sensors. The text shows how proper hardware placement varies depending on whether, disturbances are present, whether the response should be reduced to an initial condition or whether controllability and/or observability have to be optimized.

This book is aimed at non-specialists interested in learning controller design for distributed parameter systems and the material presented has been used for student teaching. The relevant basic systems theory is presented and followed by a description of controller synthesis using lumped approximations. Numerical algorithms useful for efficient implementation in real engineering systems and practical computational challenges are also described and discussed.


Distributed-parameter Systems Feedback Control Sensor Location Actuator Location Mathematical Models Infinite-dimensional Systems

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied MathematicsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

About the authors

Prof. Kirsten Morris’ research interests are control and estimation of systems modelled by partial differential equations and also systems, such as smart materials, involving hysteresis. Her recent research has focused on improving performance through attention to actuator location as part of controller design, and sensor location as part of estimator design.  She has written an undergraduate textbook "Introduction to Feedback Control", and was editor of the book  “Control of Flexible Structures”. She is a professor in  the Applied Mathematics Department at the University of Waterloo. From 2005-2008 she was Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research in the Faculty of Mathematics. She has held visiting positions at ICASE (NASA Langley), the Fields Institute, the Institute for Mathematics & Applications in Minneapolis and the Institut de Mathematiques in Bordeaux. Prof. Morris served as a vice-president of the IEEE Control System Society from 2013-2016, vice-chair of the SIAM Control & Systems Theory group 2016-2017 and chair of that organization 2018-2019. She was an associate editor with the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control and is currently an editor for the journals SIAM Journal on Control & Optimization, Mathematics of Control, Signals & Systems, and the Asian Journal of Control and she is a member of the editorial board of the  SIAM  book series Advances in Design & Control.

Bibliographic information

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