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A Robust State Observer for nDOF Lagrangian Systems

David I. Rosas Almeida1 and Joaqun Alvarez2

Abstract We present a design methodology for a robust Luenberger-type state observer for nDOF-Lagrangian systems. The observer maintains its characteristic of exponential convergence to the steady-state in spite of the presence of bounded parameter variations and bounded external disturbances. The observer incorporates a discontinuous term to the feedback signal, so the stability proof is based on analysis tools for variable structure systems. The design methodology is numerical and experimentally illustrated. Keywords Lagrangian systems, robust observer, variable structure systems.

I. Introduction One of the main problems in the implementation of control techniques based on state feedback is that frequently the state vector is not available. In some situations the state vector can be measured through sensors; however, in some other cases its measurement is not possible or turns out to be very expensive. This problem can be solved using observers; these systems calculate the state variables needed to implement a controller. One of the most used scheme to solve this problem is the so-called Luenberger observer that, in the beginning, it was used only for linear systems [4]. At present, there exist many versions of this scheme for their application to nonlinear systems, see for example [5] and [6]. The classic Luenberger scheme performs well when the plant dynamics is more or less exactly known. Ideally, we need an exact model of the plant to apply this scheme; however, in the presence of perturbations the estimation of the states may not be suciently accurate, degrading the controller performance. To solve this problem some schemes for robust observers have been proposed. In [5] it is proposed an approach to robust state observer based on Luenberger observer that requires the solution of an algebraic Riccati equation; this scheme is applied to perturbed linear systems. Other schemes use the Kalman lter, see for example [7] and [8]. On the other hand, in recent years several results have appeared on the stability of systems with variable structure, see for example [1] and [3], where it is shown that this class of systems can have good convergence properties and, at the same time, they can display good performance in face to bounded external disturbances [9]. In this sense, several observers have been proposed based on sliding mode techniques [10]. Such observers show good characteristics of robustness to bounded external perturbations and converge to the steady-state in nite time. HowScientic Research and Advanced Studies Center of Ensenada, Mexico. 1 drosas@cicese.mx, 2 jqalvar@cicese.mx.

ever, for MIMO systems the design procedure can be a dicult task. In general, for each class of systems we must design a particular observer, thus the problem of designing robust observers for a general class of nonlinear systems is still open. One important class of nonlinear systems are the so called Lagrangian systems. Mechanisms and some circuits are some examples of systems that belong to this class. In this paper we present a new design of a robust observer for nDOF Lagrangian systems. The design is based on the Luenberger observer for non linear systems, where we add a discontinuous term in the feedback, such that a variable structure system is produced, and the tools developed for this kind of systems can be applied. The equilibrium point of the error system between the plant and the observer maintains its characteristic of exponential stability in spite of parameter variations and nonvanishing bounded external disturbances. The organization of the paper is as follows. In the second section a theorem showing the stability properties of a class of discontinuous second order systems is discussed. In the third section we present the observer design. In the fourth section, the design technique is experimentally illustrated with the design and implementation of an observer for a simple pendulum. In the nal section we present some conclusions. II. Stability of a class of perturbed second order systems We present in this section a preliminary result that will be useful to design the observer. Consider the following second order system v1 v2 = v2 , = av1 bv2 + (t) csgn (v1 ) , (1)

where a and b are positive constants, perturbation with the bound | (t)| ,

(t) is an external

where is a constant, c is a control parameter, and sgn() is the signum function. Dene the matrix A as 0 1 A= , (2) a b and the matrix P, which is the solution of the Lyapunov equation for the (Hurwitz) matrix A, as p11 p12 P = . (3) p12 p22

The stability properties of (1) are given by the following theorem. Theorem 1: For system (1), if s max (P ) a c > 2max (P ) , min (P ) for some 0 < < 1, then the origin of the state space will be a global exponentially stable equilibrium point in Lyapunov sense. Proof: The proof is divided in two parts; rst we dene the nominal system as (1) with (t) = 0, and prove the stability of the origin and convergence in nite time using tools from variable structure systems1 . After that, we nd the condition on c such that the stability properties are maintained for the perturbed system. The nominal system of (1) is dened as v1 v2 = v2 , = av1 bv2 csgn (v1 ) . (4)




Fig. 1. Denition of the neighborhoods on the space state.

System (4) has two structures: S1 for v1 > 0, v1 v2 = S1 : , v2 av1 bv2 c and S2 for v1 < 0 v1 v2 = S2 : . v2 av1 bv2 + c Each structure has a dierent equilibrium point; for S1 it is v S1 = (c/a, 0) , and for S2 we have v S2 = (c/a, 0). Note that these equilibria are placed in the region where the system dynamics is given by the other structure (S2 for v S1 , S1 for v S2 ). Each equilibrium point is global exponentially stable with the following Lyapunov functions; for S1 c 2 VS1 (v) = v T P v + 2v T P + p11 , a c 2 , VS1 (v) = v T v 2v T a (5) (6)

Note also that the solutions cross the line v1 = 0 from quadrant II to quadrant I, and from quadrant IV to quadrant III. Now consider the functions VS1 (v) , VS2 (v) and their derivatives. These functions intersect at the origin with a value VSi (0) = (c/a)2 p11 , for i = 1, 2. Dene two neighborhoods of the origin, with radio > 0, and dened in the following form, 1 2 = 1 2 , = v <2 | v1 0, VS1 (v) , = v <2 | v1 < 0, VS2 (v) ,

and for S2

c 2 VS2 (v) = v T P v 2v T P + p11 , (7) a c 2 , (8) VS2 (v) = v T v + 2v T a T where = c/a 0 . A direct application of the criterion given in [11] to prove the existence of sliding modes allows to conclude that the discontinuity surface given by = v1 = 0 is not a sliding surface.
1 There exists a Lyapunov function to prove stability; however, the proof presented here will help us to show the robust characteristics of the system.

where > (c/a) p11 . Finally, dene a neighborhood with radio < ( can depend on and ; (, )) such that (see Figure 1). Dene a countable index set I = {1, 2, . . .} , these indices indicate the number of structure commutations of the system. Also dene a set of times T = {t1 , t2 , . . . , ti , . . .} . At these moments the structure commutations appear. We assume that t0 < t1 < t2 < ... If kv (t0 )k < and v (t0 ) k for some k = 1, 2 (the kth structure is active), then the rst change of structure appears at time t1 , and because VSk < 0, we have kv (t0 )k > kv (t1 )k , then VSk (v (t0 )) > VSk (v (t1 )) . Now v (t1 ) is the initial condition for the next structure and, by construction of VSi , VSk (v (t1 )) > VSk+1 (v (t1 )) by a factor 4 |v2 (t1 )| p12 (c/a) . The second commutation appears at time t2 ; the system goes from k+1 to k , kv (t1 )k > kv (t2 )k , VSk+1 (v (t1 )) > VSk+1 (v (t2 )) and VSk+1 (v (t2 )) > VSk (v (t2 )) and so on for all ti T . Then we see that the sequences W1 = {VSk (t1 ) , VSk (t3 ) , ...} and W2 = VSk+1 (t2 ) , VSk+1 (t4 ) , ... are strictly decreasing and lower bounded and converge to (c/a) p11 , and also it is satised that kv (ti+1 )k < kv (ti )k < < kv (t0 )k < < t > t0 , i.

For all > 0 and > (c/a)2 p11 we can nd a number so that the trajectories initiating in will remain within the neighborhood for all t t0 . Therefore, the origin is stable in the Lyapunov sense. To demonstrate asymptotic stability it is enough to notice that c lim VSk (ti ) = lim VSk+1 (ti ) = p11 , i i a this is the value that takes both Lyapunov functions at the origin; then lim v (t) = 0.

and where tf is a nite time, and s max (P ) , k = min (P ) = kz (t)k t t0 + tf ,

= 2max (P )

(1 ) , 2max (P ) s

max (P ) , min (P )

To demonstrate exponential stability it is enough to notice that the solution in the interval time [t0 , t1 ) decreases in exponential form due to the exponential stability of the equilibrium point of that structure. When the structure is changed, the solution maintains the decreasing rate because both structures have the same matrix A, therefore kv (t)k in the time intervals [ti , ti+1 ) will be below an exponential function that dominates the solution in the rst interval [t0 , t1 ); therefore the origin is an exponentially stable equilibrium point. Finally, to demonstrate that this result is global it is enough to notice that each structure has a global exponentially stable equilibrium; therefore, all properties mentioned before will remain for all initial condition. Now we analyze the perturbed system (1). Consider the structure S1 of the system (the analysis of the structure S2 is similar), v1 v2 = v2 , = av1 bv2 + (t) c,

for some , 0 < < 1. This part shows that the ball of radius , with center located at (c/a, 0), is an attractor for structure S1 , denoted as BS1 . The equilibrium point of the structure S2 v1 v2 = v2 , = av1 bv2 + (t) + c,

has the same stability properties that the equilibrium point of the structure S1 . Then the ball BS2 of radius and centered at (c/a, 0) is an attractor for S2 . Then each structure of the nominal system has an equilibrium point symmetrically located on the v1 -axis at a distance r = c/a from the origin. If this distance is grater than , i. e. if s max (P ) a c > 2max (P ) , (9) min (P ) then the two attractor BS1 and BS2 of the perturbed system (1) do not intersect each other, and the behavior of the solution of the perturbed system will be qualitatively similar to the behavior of the nominal system, for which these attractors correspond when = 0. Therefore, the perturbed system converges to the origin in the same way than the nominal system. III. State observer design Consider now a nDOF Lagrangian system described by the following equation M (q) q + C (q, q) q + Dq + g (q) + (t) = ,

and make the following change of variables z1 = v1 + c/a and z2 = v2 . The dynamics of system (1), in the new state space, is given by z1 z2 = z2 , = az1 bz2 + (t) ,

or in simplied form, z = Az + g, T (t) . where g = 0 Propose a Lyapunov function V (z) = z T P z, where the matrices A and P are dened by equations (2) and (3), respectively. The derivative of V is given by V (z) = z T z + 2z T P g kzk2 + 2 z T P g


kzk2 + 2max (P ) kzk .

Because a > 0 and b > 0, we can apply lemma 9.2 given in [2], and conclude that, for all kz (t0 )k > the solution z (t) satises kz (t)k k exp ( (t t0 )) kz (t0 )k t0 t < t0 + tf ,

where q <n is the generalized position vector, M (q) is the inertia matrix, C (q, q) is the centrifuge and Coriolis matrix, D is a positive denite diagonal matrix that contains the viscous friction coecients of each link, g (q) is the gravitational force vector, (t) is a perturbation term that may encloses parametric variations and external perturbations; we assume that this term is bounded, k (t)k , and is the input torque. All matrices and vectors are dened with the suitable dimensions. Dening the state variables x1 = q, x2 = q, the state space representation of system (10) is x1 x2 = , (11) x2 y = x1 , (12)

where = M 1 () (C () x2 Dx2 g () (t) + ) and y <n is the output equation given by the position vector x1 . We assume that the behavior of system (1112) is bounded for any bounded input and any bounded perturbation (t) . We propose an observer for system (11 - 12) as " . # x2 x1 . = + f (y y ) , (13) M 1 () x2 y = x1 , (14) where the vector f (y y ) has the form C1 (y y ) f (y y ) = , C2 (y y ) + C3 sgn (y y ) M 1 () g () (15) where C1 , C2 and C3 are denite positive diagonal matrices. Dene the error variables e1 = x1 x1 , e2 = x2 x2 , then the error dynamics is described by e1 e2 C1 e1 = . (16) e2 (t) C2 e1 C3 sgn (e1 ) where (t) = M

c3,i > 2max (Pi )

where the matrix Pi and the constant were dened in (2) and (3) respectively. IV. A simple pendulum example Consider a simple pendulum model2 given by x1 x2 y = x2 , = k1 x2 k3 sin (x1 ) + k4 + (t) , = x1 (21)

max (Pi ) c2,i i , min (Pi )


where k1 = 2.99962 , k3 = 67.912, k4 = 55.549 and (t) is a perturbation term that satises the following bound | (t)| , where is a constant. In this case we suppose that = 0.5. Now, the state observer for system (21) is proposed to be x1 b
. .

(x1 ) (C (x1 , x2 ) x2 Dx2 (t)) .

Proposition 2: For system (16) it is possible to nd a set of matrices C1 , C2 and C3 such that the origin of the error space will be a global exponentially stable equilibrium point. Then the system dened by (13) and (14) is an observer for the system dened by (11) and (12). Proof: Because x1 and x2 are bounded, the term (t) is bounded, then each term i (t) , i = 1, ..., n is bounded too. From (16) we can see that this system is a set of n subsystems given by e1,i e2,i c1,i e1,i = e2,i c2,i e1,i c3,i sgn (e1,i ) + i (t) for i = 1, ..., n. Now make a change of variables v1,i v2,i = e1,i , = e2,i c1,i e1,i = e2,i = v2,i + c1,i v1,i .

where v1 and v2 are given by v1 v2

x2 = k1 x2 k3 sin (b1 ) + k4 + v2 , b b x y = x1,

= x2 + v1 , b

= c1 e1 , = c2 e1 + c3 sgn (e1 ) + k3 (sin (b1 ) sin (x1 )) , x

and the error dynamics between the plant and the observer is e1 e2 = c1 e1 + e2 , = c2 e1 k1 e2 + (t) c3 sgn (e1 ) .

The change of variables y1 = e1 , y2 = c1 e1 + e2 , leads to y1 y2 = y2 , = (c2 + k1 c1 ) y1 (c1 + k1 ) y2 + g (t, y) c3 sgn (y1 ) .

The dynamics of system (16) in the new state space is given by v1,i v2,i = v2,i , (17) = c2,i v1,i c1,i v2,i + i (t) c3,i sgn (v1,i ) ,

In this case the matrix A is 0 1 . A= (c2 + k1 c1 ) (c1 + k1 ) If c1 = 2 and c2 = 10 we have the matrix P 1.24 0.24 P = , 0.24 0.368 whose eigenvalues are max = 1. 301 7 and min = 0. 306. Finally, by applying theorem 1 we obtain the following condition for c3 c3 > 10.03 ,
2 These values were taken from an approximated model of a pendulum manufactured by Mechatronics Systems Inc.

for i = 1, ..., n. This system has the form of system (1), and by applying theorem 1 we can nd the conditions on c1,i , c2,i , and c3,i We can see that the proof is very easy taking the result presented in the last section; now we present the conditions on the constants to design an observer The constants c1,i , c2,i and c3,i must be chosen such that c2,i c1,i > 0 > 0 (18) (19)

3 2 1
-x1, -- x1o

x 10 3 2


0 -1 -2 -3 0 1 2 3 4 5 Time (sec.) 6 7 8 9 10

0 -1 -2 4 5 6 7 Time (sec.) 8 9

6 4 2
-x2, -- x2o


-x2s, --y2s

0 -2 -4



5 Time (sec.)


7 Time (sec.)

Fig. 2. Numerical results. Behavior of the plant and the observer for c3 = 0 (classical Luenberger observer).

Fig. 4. Numerical results. Behavior of the error between the plant and the observer state for c3 = 10.

-x1, -- x1o



5 Time (sec.)


6 4 2
-x2, -- x2o

0 -2 -4 -6 0 1 2 3 4 5 Time (sec.) 6 7 8 9 10

Fig. 3. Numerical results. Behavior of the plant and the observer for c3 = 10 (proposed observer).

Fig. 5. Simple pendulum.

where 0 < < 1.We took = 0.9, then c3 > 5.57. The following gures show some numerical results for system (21) for (t) = 0.5 sin (10t) and a sine signal as input torque. Figure 2 shows the behavior of the plant (continuous graphs) and the observer (dashed graphs) with c3 = 0, that is, for the classical Luenberger observer. As we can see, the angle error and velocity error are large. When c3 = 10 (Figure 3), after a transient, the errors go near to zero. There are small errors due to the discontinuous nature of the observer, Figure 4 shows these errors. Now we assume that system (21) is a model of the mechanical pendulum shown in Figure 5. The experimental results are shown in the following gures. For c3 = 0 (classic Luenberger observer) the error

between the real angle and the observed angle is, similar to the numerical case, very large, see Figure 6. In this and the following gures the vertical line indicates the time where the torque was applied to the pendulum. Figure 7 shows the experimental results for the proposed observer, with c3 = 10. As we can see, after a transient due to the initial condition, the error is almost zero; it remains in the band of 2 103 rad., see Figure 8. Note that the magnitude of this error is the same that in the numerical simulations. V. Conclusion The main contribution of this work is the design of a discontinuous observer for a class of nonlinear systems.

2 1
-x1, --x1o

x 10


0 -1 -2 -3

0 2 4 6 8 10 Time (sec) 12 14 16 18 20

0 2 4 6 8 10 Time (sec) 12 14 16 18 20








12 Time (sec)





Fig. 6. Experimental results. Behavior of the plant and the observer for c3 = 0 (classical observer).

Fig. 8. Experimental results. Behavior of the error between the plant and the observer state for c3 = 10 (proposed observer).

-x1, --x1o

VI. Acknowledgments This research was supported in part by CONACyT and PROMEP. Mexico. References


-2 0 2 4 6 8 10 Time (sec) 12 14 16 18 20


3 2 1

0 -1 -2 -3 -4 0 2 4 6 8 10 Time (sec) 12 14 16 18 20

Fig. 7. Experimental results. Behavior of the plant and the observer for c3 = 10 (proposed observer).

The observer displays good characteristics of robustness to bounded parametric variation and external perturbations. For the case of plants with perturbations this observer has better performance than the classic Luenberger observer and its design procedure is easier than some sliding mode observers. Due to its discontinuous nature, the observer state vector displays chattering; however, in the experimental results chattering was not an important problem, as we can see in Figure 8, where the chattering has very small amplitude. Also, this observer guarantees exponential rate of convergence to the state of the plant in spite of the existence of nonvanishing bounded perturbations. Therefore, this observer can be very useful in the implementation of feedback controllers when the plant has this kind of perturbations.

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