Digital Control Systems
Spring 2013
Elective for ECE
Catalog Data: 

3 units.  Modeling, analysis, and design of digital control systems; A/D and D/A conversions, Z-transforms, time and frequency domain representations, stability, microprocessor-based designs.

Grading:  Regular grades are awarded for this course: A B C D E.
May be convened with:  ECE 542.
Usually offered:  Spring.

ECE 340

Feedback Systems: An Introduction for Scientist and Engineers, Astrom and Murray. Available on-line:

Feedback and Control Systems: Continuous (Analog) and Discrete (Digital), Second Edition, J.J. DiStefano III, A.R. Stubberud, and I.J. Williams, Schaum’s Outline Series, McGraw-Hill, 1990.

Course Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Convert a continuous-time system into a discrete-time system (frequency and time domain techniques).
  2. Compute the z-transform of elementary signals and difference equations.
  3. Determine the poles of a second-order system based on the system’s transient response (both continuous time and discrete time systems).
  4. Determine the stability of a closed-loop system (both continuous time and discrete time systems).
  5. Sketch the root locus associated with a system’s transfer function (both G[s] and G[z]).
  6. Translate design specifications into allowable dominant pole locations in both the s-plane and the z-plane.
  7. Design controllers using root locus techniques (both continuous time and discrete time).
  8. Incorporate time delay introduced by a zero-order hold and know how to accommodate this delay during a digital controller design.
  9. Obtain discrete equivalents of analog transfer functions.
  10. Apply full-state feedback to achieve acceptable closed-loop behavior for discrete-time systems.
  11. Design an estimator and use it to control a discrete-time system.
  12. Design an analog PID controller to meet design specifications.
  13. Design a digital PID controller based on an existing analog PID controller.
  14. Transform between difference equations, block diagrams, and transfer functions associated with discrete systems.
  15. Compute closed-form expressions for output waveforms from discrete-time systems with inputs.
  16. Determine the steady-state error in continuous time and discrete time systems.
  17. Transform discrete-time systems between transfer function and state-space representations.
  18. Calculate the gain margin and the phase margin from a system’s frequency response.
Course Topics: 
  • Course Description and Introduction.
  • Linear, Continuous and Discrete, Dynamic-System Analysis.
  • Sampled-Data Systems.
  • Discrete Equivalents of Analog Transfer Functions.
  • Controller Design Using Transform Techniques.
  • Controller Design Using State-Space Techniques.
Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

Three 50-minute lecture sessions per week.
Ten homework problem sets during semester.
Three in-class examinations plus a final examination.


Relationship to Student Outcomes: 

a)   an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering (High)
b)   an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret
      data (High)
c)   an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within
      realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical,
      health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability (High)
e)   an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems (High)
k)   an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary
      for engineering practice. (High)

Prepared by: 
Dr. Hal Tharp
Prepared Date: 

University of Arizona College of Engineering