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19th Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation Aquis Corfu Holiday Palace, Corfu, Greece June 20-23, 2011


Automatic Loop Shaping of QFT applied to an active control design

R. Comaslivas, T. Escobet, and J. Quevedo
Abstract This paper presents a methodology to design automatically a QFT (Quantitative Feedback Theory) robust controller for plants with model uncertainty. The method proposed has as objective to find a QFT robust controller that fulfills the control specifications for the whole set of plant models, without including parameter controller restrictions. The methodology is based on a global optimization and has been solved using a global mixed-integer nonlinear programming. The design of an active control for vibration attenuation in optical interferometers is used to validate the technique.

This paper presents another method for automatic loop shaping based on the resolution of a global mixed-integer nonlinear programming with the objective of minimizing the energy of the control effort. A first problem formulation was already proposed in [8]. The developed strategy is used to design an active control approach, in order to cancel low frequency disturbances in an interferometric application for the phasing of the segmented mirror in a large telescope. II. CONTROLLER DESIGN METHODOLOGY A. QFT formulation The figure 1 shows the generic control structure used in QFT.

I. INTRODUCTION N open problem in QFT is the automatic design of a controller for uncertain systems modeled by interval linear models. The common design approach involves classical frequency-response loop-shaping via manipulation of the gain, poles and zeros of the control transfer function. This design process is executed most efficiently using computer-aided design software such as the QFT Control Design MATLAB Toolbox. Usually, for a given low order controller, the designer has to manipulate the parameter of the control transfer function to fulfill all the constraints and performances defined for the closed loop. However, sometimes there is not a solution or the solution is not easy to find, even though the controller has a low order structure. The concept of automatic design of QFT controllers was introduced by Gera and Horowitz [1], who propose a semi automatic procedure to tune the controller. In the literature, there are some approaches to design automatically a robust controller for uncertain plants, such that the cost of feedback is minimized and robust stability and performance specifications are satisfied. Among other, genetic algorithms [2], linear programming [3] and optimisation algorithms [4] are used. And more recently, in [5] a technique based on hybrid optimization and constraint propagation, combining interval global optimization and nonlinear local optimization, are used. In [6] the controller synthesis problem is posed as interval constraint satisfying problem and solved with interval constraint solver. In [7] a methodology that applies two techniques to design QFT controllers is proposed. The first one is based on evolutionary algorithms and the second is based on genetic algorithms.
R. Comasolivas is with the Automatic Control Department, Technical University of Catalonia, Terrassa (Spain) (corresponding author to provide phone: 34 93 7398144; fax: 34 93 7398628; e-mail: ramon.comasolivas@ upc.edu). T. Escobet, is with the Department of Electronic Systems Design and Programming ,Technical University of Catalonia, Terrassa (Spain) (e-mail: teresa.escobet@upc.edu). J. Quevedo is with the Automatic Control Department, Technical University of Catalonia, Terrassa (Spain) (e-mail: joseba.quevedo@upc.edu).
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Fig. 1. QFT generic control structure.

QFT, initially developed by Horowitz in 1963 ([9]), is a technique in the frequency domain that uses the Nichols Chart (NC) in the design of robust controllers for feedback systems. Use of the NC allows quick visualization of the compensations required in order to achieve the desired performance. Much work and many applications support this fact ([8], [10], [11]). In the QFT technique ([12]), it is normally assumed that the system has two degrees of freedom (DOF); only the output, Y, and the set point, R, can be measured independently. G is the feedback controller, which can help to reduce variations in the output due to uncertainties in the plant, P, and the disturbances, W, V and D. Finally, F is the pre-filter required to meet the specifications. Despite its extended use and demonstrated good results using QFT technique in many engineering applications, some issues are not totally solved yet. That's the case to ensure or not the robust stability of the special controlled systems, like control design for uncertain non-minimum phase and unstable plants [13]. According [14], an uncertain plant can be described by the interval model:

P ( , s ) =

B ( , s ) A( , s )


where B and A are polynomials in the s domain; and is the vector of uncertain parameters of dimension p with their

values bounded by a compact set of box type, i.e.,

possible to express the control effort transfer function like


TU (,) = G() TD (,) .


A classical problem in QFT([15], [16]) is to synthesize the feedback controller G(s) and the prefilter F(s) as strictly proper, rational and stable, such that some specifications are satisfied, while the bandwidth of the controller is kept as low as possible, despite the presence of uncertainty in P. In general, the feedback control is defined as

G (k c , s ) =

Bc (k c , s ) Ac (k c , s )


A. Proposed Algorithm The algorithm used for automatic loop shaping [8] is based on minimizing the control effort impulse response energy, given by (6) for a plant with a particular value of and controller kc :

where Bc and Ac are polynomials in the s domain and kc is a vector of controller parameters of dimension g. The QFT design process [17] involves the following steps: template generation, bound generation, and loop shaping. The region of the NC described by the complex values of the uncertain plant, at each frequency, is called template. The specifications and the uncertainty in the plant allow the generation of the bounds. Once the bounds have been determined, it is necessary to design the transfer function of the nominal loop, by adding the appropriate poles and zeros, which preserves loop stability at all times. Additionally, this fulfills the rest of the specifications of the NC regarding loop shaping. Using QFT design for discrete-time systems, the Laplace variable s is replaced by z = e s , Ts = sampling time, and the frequency band of interest is limited to (0, / Ts ]rad /sec. The QFT methodology allows working with a specific set of reference parameters, which leads to a nominal plant. This implies a major simplification of the synthesis process. Several software packages support QFT computation. In this work a Matlab QFT toolbox [18] was used. B. QFT specifications In general, to define the performances of the robust control system, several specifications must be taken into account. Performances specifications as robust stability (3) control effort (4), and disturbance attenuation (5), have an upper bound limited by c( ), 1() and S( ), respectively,
j T

E ( , kc ) = TU ( , , kc ) d


while the energy for the whole family of plants will be given by

E ( , kc )d = TU ( , , kc )

d d


A discrete approximation of (7), given a discrete grid of frequencies 1 , 2 ,K , nw and a grid uncertain parameters of the plant 1 , 2 ,K , np , could be:

E ( , kc )d

TU (i , j , kc )
i =1 j =1

np nw


where np and nw are the number of plants and frequencies considered, respectively. This approximation allows defining the following algorithm: 1) Algorithm 1. Automatic loop shaping Step 1. Choose the discretisation for frequencies 1 , 2 ,K , nw and for the set uncertain parameters of the plant = i 1 , 2 ,K , np . Step 2. Solve the following optimization problem: For each frequency 1 , 2 ,K , nw , and for all set of plant parameters , an optimal solution of the controller parameters kcKC, where KC is the initial bounded set of controller parameter, determinated by:
np nw

KC = kc g kc kc kc



Y ( , ) L ( , ) = T ( , ) = < 1 ( ) 1 + L ( , ) N ( , )



TU (i , j , kc )
i =1 j =1

U ( ,) W ( ,)
Y ( , ) D ( , )

= TU (,) =

G() 1+ L(,)

< c ()
< s ( )


Subject to: For i=1,np For j=1,nw

= TD ( , ) =

1 + L ( , )


where L ( , ) = P ( , ) G ( ) is the nominal open loop with the digital version of pre-filter F(z)=1, TD ( , ) is the sensitivity

( ) ( ) G ( j ) TD ( i , j , kc ) c ( j ) TD (i , j , kc ) s ( j )
T i , j , k c 1 j
End End

T ( , ) is the complementary sensitivity transfer function. It is also

transfer function, and
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kc kc kc

Step 3. If the solution has not been found, specifications should be relaxed and go to Step 1. This algorithm has been implemented using the solver Tomlab [19], and has been formulated as a global mixedinteger nonlinear programming.

movement using a high frequency line-scan CCD camera together with a signal processing stage to generate a feedback signal, a piezoelectric transducer as an actuator of mirror displacement and a PI digital controller to dynamically compensate for the effect of the disturbances.

Fig. 4. Block diagram of schematic active control.

Fig. 2. General view of the interferometer with some of the elements of active control system indicated.

IV. SYSTEM DESCRIPTION A. System configuration The system used to illustrate the methodology developed is the UPC-ZEBRA interferometer ([8], [20]), built specifically to measure the position of large segmented mirrors (Fig. 2). Its purpose is to measure segment relative position between them that is required for a robotic arm to sequentially position them (Fig. 3).
D x

B. System modelling The design of the robust controller needs a model that represents the behavior of the system in the frequency range of interest. Therefore, frequency techniques are used for both model identification and noise characterization. The set formed by interferometer, detector and signal processing behaves as an almost unitary gain system for the frequency range of interest. The non-linear dynamics arise due to the actuator.

z x
Fig. 5. Actuator gain for several amplitudes and frequencies.

Fig. 3. Positioning arm rotation diagram.

Given the mechanical characteristics of currently available positioning system, one might expect the interferometer to oscillate with respect to the segmented mirror due to external disturbances, preventing interferometric measurements from being carried out. Fig. 4 shows a block diagram of the control system implemented. Active control of disturbances in an optical interferometer is based on the detection of the interferogram
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In order to model the actuator and identify the noise characteristics, some experiments have been carried out. The system has been excited in open loop with different sinusoidal signals whose frequency range varies between [0.5, 6] Hz and whose amplitude varies between [0.5, 10]m. Figure 5 shows the actuator gain versus the amplitude and frequency of the control variable. Experimental results show that: - Phase does not show great variations versus amplitude or frequency. - Gain, as the ratio between actuator output and input, presents little variation with regard to the amplitude of the

excitation signal. The actuator has been modeled as a non-linear gain that is a function of the amplitude of the excitation signal. The model has been adjusted adding a pole and a zero in order to take into account the decrease of gain and phase at high frequencies, in the range of interest. The linear transfer function that represents the behavior of the system is:
k (T1 s + 1) (9) T2 s + 1 The only parameter considered uncertain in the model is the gain k, with a parametric uncertainty given by: k [ 0.7,1.05] . The two other parameters, T1 and T2, have P 1 ( , s ) = been estimated to cover the frequency response, and the values are 1/8 and 1/7.5 s, respectively.

experimental data of the system. C. Noise Characterization and Filter Design The fringe-tracker introduces noise to the system (Fig. 7). The characteristics of this noise were evaluated by means of a study in the frequency domain. Figure 8 shows the estimated frequency response given by evaluating the outputs of the fringe-tracker with excitation frequencies of 0.5, 1 and 2 Hz. It can be seen that the noise component is significant above 20 Hz.
Amplitude (m)

INTERFEROMETER Model, OPEN LOOP Magnitude 0.5 0 -0.5 -1 Magnitude (dB) -1.5 -2 -2.5 -3 -3.5 -4 0 10

time (sec) Fig. 7. Output of the fringe-tracker



Frequency (rad/sec)

A digital filter was designed in order to reduce the noise present at 16 Hz (100 rad/s) by a factor greater than 10. A second-order filter with cut-off frequency of 5 Hz (31 rad/s) is used. The corresponding discrete transfer function, with a sampling period of Ts= 0.004 s, is given by
FI ( z ) = 0.003622 z 2 + 0.07243 z + 0.003622 z 2 1.823 z + 0.8372

Fig. 6. Frequency response comparison of the estimated interval model and the non-linear system characteristics.


Figure 6 shows the frequency response of the estimated interval model, together with the experimental data corresponding to the non-linear behavior of the actuator. The discrete interval model of the interferometer can be obtained by discretizing the interval model P(s), using a D/A conversion as a zero order holder (ZOH) with a sample period of Ts= 0.004 sec.

Finally, the discrete model of the plant under consideration, which includes the interferometer (10) and the filter (12), would be: (13) The frequency range of interest to this study can be defined as being between 0.5 and 6 Hz (3.14 and 37.7 rad/sec).

P( z, k ) = P1 ( z, k ) FI ( z )

P1 ( z , k ) =

k ( az + b ) zc


k [ 0.7,1.05] T1 = 1/ 8 T = 1/ 7.5 with 2 a = T1 / T2 c = e a b = (1 a )(1 c) ac


The frequency response of the interval model includes all

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VI. RESULTS A. Optimal controller In order to find the optimal controller, Algorithm 1 has been applied, computing the minimization of the function:


TU (i , j , kc )
i =1 j =1

subject to the restrictions introduced in (15), (16) and (17). The optimal solution is with = 61.43 and = 52.83, obtained in 9 iterations. Using MATLAB QFT Toolbox [18], this solution has been verified in Nichols chart checking that the desired specifications are fulfilled (Fig. 9).

Fig. 8. Estimation of the frequency response of the fringe-tracker output.



A. Frequency specifications In order to define the performances of the robust control system, the following specifications have been considered: - robust stability bounded: 1() = 3dB - maximum control effort of the actuator: c( ) = 14 dB - disturbances attenuation (interferogram movement): S() = -34 dB In all cases, these specifications should be met in the frequency range [3, 37 ] rad/sec B. Operative process A digital PI control has been considered,

Fig. 9. QFT checking of digital PI control design.

G( z ) =

z +
z 1


Figure 10 shows the Bode diagram for the relationship between the output Y(z) and disturbances D(z), which is the more restrictive specification. The curves in red correspond to the features of a set of possible plants and they are below the specification (shown in green) that satisfies the output disturbance elimination requirement. B. Experimental results The system for active control of mechanical disturbances was implemented in the UPC-ZEBRA interferometer ([20]). In order to validate the control designed for this study, different sinusoidal disturbances below 4 Hz with amplitude of 3000 nm were applied. Similar results were obtained for disturbances at other frequencies within the specified range. Therefore, these results indirectly validate the selected model for the system and the QFT robust control design technique used.

- The robust stability specifications (3) is given by

T ( , ) =

L( , ) 3dB 1 + L( , )
G ( ) 1 + L ( , )
1 1 + L ( , )


- The control effort specification (4) is given by

TU ( , ) =



- The disturbance attenuation specification (5), is given by

TD ( , ) =



- The discrete grid of frequencies in rad/s: = 2 [ 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 6] where nw=5; -The discrete grid of plant is
k = [ 0.7, 0.75, 0.8, 0.85, 0.9, 0.95, 1.0, 1.05]

where np = 8.
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ACKNOWLEDGMENT This works belongs to a research project granted by the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnologa of Spain (MCYT, ref. CICYT HYFA DPI2008-01996). REFERENCES
[1] [2] Gera, A. and I.M. Horowitz, Optimization of the loop transfer function, International Journal of Control, 31, pp. 389-398, 1992. W., Chen, D.J. Ballance and Y. Li, Automatic Loop-Shaping in QFT Using Genetic Algorithms, in Proceedings of 3rd Asia-Pacific Conference on Control and Measurement, pages 63-67, 1998. S. V. P. Nataraj and K. Nandkishor, Automatic loop shaping in QFT using hybrid optimization and constraint propagation techniques, Int. J. Robust Nonlinear Control, vol. 17, pp.251-264, 2007 Y. Chait, Q. Chen and C.V. Hollot, Automatic loop-shaping of controllers via Linear Programming, in Procs. Symp on Quantitative Feedback Theory and other Frequency Domain Methods and Applications, Glasgow, Scotland, September, pp. 13-28, 1997. R. Nandakumar, G.D. Halikias and A.C. Zolotas, An optimisation algorithm for designing fixed-structure controllers using the QFT method, in IEEE International Symposium on Computer Aided Control System Design Proceedings , Glasgow, 2002. P. S. V. Nataraj and M. M. Deshpande , Automated Synthesis of Fixed Structure QFT Controller using Interval Constraint Satisfaction Techniques, in Proceedings of the 17th IFAC World Congress, Seoul, Korea, 2008, pp. 4976-4981. C. Molins and M. Garcia-Sanz, Automatic Loop-shaping of QFT Robust Controllers, in Proceedings of the IEEE Aerospace & Electronics Conference (NAECON), Dayton, OH, 2009, pp. 103 110. R. Comasolivas, J. Quevedo, V. Puig and T. Escobet Active Control Design Facilities for Vibration Attenuation in Interferometers based on QFT, 7th International Symposium on Quantitative Feedback Theory and Robust Frequency Methods, Lawrence, Kansas USA, 2005 I.M. Horowitz, Quantitative Feedback Design Theory (QFT), QFT publications,1993. M. Garcia-Sanz, I. Egana, M. Barreras, Design of quantitative feedback theory non-diagonal controllers for use in uncertain multiple-input multiple-output systems, Control Theory and Applications, IEE Proceedings, 152, (2), pp.: 177- 187, 2005. M. Gil-Martnez, M., and M. Garca-Sanz, Simultaneous meeting of control specifications in QFT, 5th International Symposium on Quantitative Feedback Theory and Robust Frequency Domain Methods, Pamplona Spain, 2001. C. H. Houpis and S. J. Rasmussen, Quantitative Feedback Theory, Fundamentals and Applications, Neil Munro publ., New York, 1999. W. Chen and D. J. Balance, QFT Design for Uncertain Nonminimum Phase and Unstable Plants, Proc. American Control Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 1998 S. P. Bhattacharyya, H. Chapellat and L.H. Keel, Robust Control: The Parametric Approach. Prentice Hall, 1995 Houpis, C.H. and S.J. Rasmussen, Quantitative Feedback Theory, Fundamentals and Applications, Neil Munro publ., New York, 1999. O. Yaniv, Quantitative feedback design of linear and nonlinear control systems, Ed. Kluwer, 1999. N. Niksefat, and N. Sepehri, Designing Robust Force Control of Hydraulic Actuators, Despite System and Environmental Uncertainties, IEEE Control Systems Magazine, pp. 66-77, 2001. C. Borghesani, Y. Chait, and O. Yaniv, Quantitative Feedback Theory Toolbox, Users Guide, for Use with Matlab, 1994. Holmstrm, K., A.O. Gran, and M.M. Edvall. Users Guide for Tomlab. Tomlab Optimisation. http://tomopt.com/tomlab/, 2007. C. Pizarro, J. Arasa, F. Laguarta, N.Tomas and A. Pinto, Design of an interferometric system for the measurement of phasing errors in segmented mirrors, Applied Optics, vol. 41, pp. 4562-4570, 2002.

[3] Fig. 10. Y/D Bode diagram with a digital PI control. [4]

Figure 11 shows the result of the attenuation obtained when applying a sinusoidal perturbation of 5 rad/sec. The amplitude value is approximately 15 nm, as can be seen in Figure 11. Therefore, the attenuation obtained is a factor of 1/200, that is, -46 dB.





[9] [10]

Fig. 11. Interferometer open loop and close loop comparison.



VII. CONCLUSION In this paper, a QFT automatic loop shaping algorithm has been proposed in order to design a pre-fixed low order controller that minimizes the control effort under several constraints such as: robust stability and disturbances rejection. This method was used for the robust design of the PI digital controller, in order to eliminate mechanical disturbances in an optical interferometer. It was modeled as a SISO system using a parametric uncertainty that attempted to describe hysteresis phenomena. The designed PI controller was implemented in the active control system of the mechanical disturbances of an optical interferometer. The experimental results prove the validity of the proposed approach, and meet the performance requirements imposed by users for proper interferometer operation.

[14] [15] [16] [17]

[18] [19] [20]

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