Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Schneider, Susan C.

Second Advisor

Yaz, Edwin E.

Third Advisor

Bonniwell, Jennifer L.


This thesis proposes a testbed capable of validating experimental controller designs.Because it is undesirable to implement unvalidated controller designs on physical hardware, the need for an effective testbed arises. For the testbed to be useful, it should be easy to use and contain all the hardware and software necessary to implement a controller and analyze its response. To accomplish these goals, a testbed is created by joining the National Instruments ELVIS III board with the Quanser Controls Board. Three controllers are implemented to evaluate the usefulness of the testbed. The controllers are designed using the neoclassical design technique. The neoclassical technique is an experimental design methodology that, until now, has never been implemented on a physical system. The neoclassical technique uses principles from both modern and classical approaches to control to match the transfer function of a system to an optimal transfer function; thus, simplifying the design process. Neoclassical controllers are designed in continuous time, discrete time, and discrete time with a state estimator. A PID controller is designed and used to evaluate the usefulness of the neoclassical design technique. PID controllers have been around for many years and are a highly common method of control. They have been studied extensively and there are several techniques available for controller design. Because the PID is well-known, it provides a good standard to evaluate the neoclassical technique against. A design and performance analysis is then conducted after all controllers have been implemented. The testbed is evaluated on how well it performed as well as the difficulty required to implement the individual controller designs. The performance of the neoclassical controllers is also considered. A comparison is made between the neoclassical controllers and PID controller to determine if the neoclassical method improves efficiency of controller design. It will be shown that while the testbed analyzed in this thesis may be useful as an instructional aid, it is not particularly useful in validating experimental controllers.

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Engineering Commons