Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Phillip H. Jones

Second Advisor

Joseph A. Zambreno


The field of modern control theory and the systems used to implement these controllers have developed rapidly and mostly exclusive of each other over the last 50 years. Digital control systems are traditionally designed assuming constant sensor sampling-rates and consistent processor response-times, with their implementation platform unaccounted for. Concurrently, embedded systems engineers focus on maximizing resource utilization by sharing processors amongst control and non-control tasks, causing unintended interactions. The result of this isolation between the two fields is that computing mechanisms meant to improve average CPU throughput, such as cache, interrupts, and task scheduling by operating systems, are contributing to this non-deterministic and unaccounted delays in the control loop. These deviations from design specifications degrade performance and sometimes completely destabilize the control-loop. This issue is being addressed by both the controls and the computer engineering communities and now more often in collaboration. This dissertation addresses this challenge by adding application specific hardware accelerators to computer architecture, while maintaining ease of implementation. The proposed solution is an on-chip co-processor that has been implemented on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) to support the servicing of many simple plants or a single plant of many states, while maintaining microsecond level response times, tight deterministic control loop execution while allowing the main processor to service non-control tasks. The effect of variations in digital control-loop delay on a plant’s stability using an actual embedded platform consisting of a hardware-based plant emulator, as opposed to software-based simulations is also studied.


Copyright Owner

Sudhanshu Prasad Vyas



File Format


File Size

140 pages