A Tutorial on Real-Time Computing Issues for Control Systems

A Tutorial on Real-Time Computing Issues for Control Systems

Speaker Name: 
Dr. Daniel (Danny) Abramovitch
Speaker Title: 
System Architect
Speaker Organization: 
Agilent Technologies
Start Time: 
Thursday, May 25, 2023 - 2:00pm
End Time: 
Thursday, May 25, 2023 - 3:00pm
Baskin E2-506 or via Zoom: https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/95915415895?pwd=S1hpZWJDZGlqTmtja0Q5ZmtITXJuZz09
Ricardo Sanfelice



This talk presents a tutorial (scheduled for presentation at the 2023 American Control Conference) on the elements of computation in a real-time control system. Unlike conventional computation or even computation in digital signal processing systems, computation in a feedback loop must be sensitive to issues of latency and noise around the loop. This presents some fundamental requirements, limitations, and design constraints not seen in other computational applications. The logic of presenting such a tutorial is that while the computer technology changes at a rapid pace, the principles of how we match that technology to the constraints of a feedback loop remain consistent over the years. We will discuss the different computational chains in a feedback system, ways to conceptualize the effects of time delay and jitter on the system, and present a three-layer-model for programming real-time computations. The tutorial also presents some filter and state- space structures that are useful for real-time computation.


Speaker Bio:

Dr. Daniel (Danny) Abramovitch earned degrees in Electrical Engineering from Clemson (BS) and Stanford (MS and Ph.D.), doing his doctoral work under the direction of Gene Franklin. He has spent most of his career at Hewlett-Packard Labs and Agilent Labs, moving to Agilent’s Mass Spectrometry Division in 2014 to work on improved real-time computational architectures for mass spectrometers. Danny is a Fellow of the IEEE and has held leadership positions at multiple American Control Conferences, including serving as Program Chair in 2013 and General Chair in 2016. Since then, he has led outreach efforts from the controls field including a highly popular set of “practical methods” workshops. He has helped organize conference tutorial sessions on topics as varied as disk drives, atomic force microscopes, phase-locked loops, laser interferometry, computation control systems, and how business models and mechanics affect control design. He is the holder of over 25 patents and 65 reviewed technical papers. Danny has spent his years in industrial research working with mechatronic control problems (optical and hard disks, atomic force microscopes) and instrumentation systems, from Agilent’s award winning first 40bps BERT to the award winning Ultivo Tandem Quad Mass Spectrometer. A consistent theme has been the need to modernize the connectivity between test benches, instrumentation, and CAD software. The need to have personally connected the pieces “from the physics to the web page” has given him a highly utilitarian view of the foundational work that needs to be done to make physical systems truly data driven. Over the past decade he has focused much of his effort on how to teach the principles, limitations, and requirements of feedback systems to people outside the traditional controls community including high school and college STEM students, scientists and practicing engineers, as well as the general public.