Integrated Controller Design Methods and Communication Services for Networked Control Systems

Digitally networked control systems (NCS) are steadily gaining importance for the implementation of so-called cyber-physical systems, where computers are used to control physical processes. Such systems comprise sensors, actuators, and digital controllers, which are often distributed over a wide area. Consequently, measurement and control signals have to be transferred using a communication network. On the one hand, the design of NCS often assumes network models that do not match real communication networks and communication methods accurately. On the other hand, there is a lack of communication methods that can serve as basis for control methods in order to guarantee a suitable quality of control. Therefore, the basic goal of this project is to develop methods to bridge the gap between control systems and communication systems. In particular, this includes the design of network models that can serve, on the one hand, as basis for control systems providing a guaranteed quality of control. On the other hand, these network models should allow for an efficient implementation in IP communication infrastructures. For the individual network models, suitable communication methods (routing and scheduling) and algorithms for the optimal placement of NCS controllers will be investigated. Moreover, corresponding controller design methods for time-triggered and event-based systems will be investigated. The performance of the designed methods will be evaluated using prototypical implementations for software-defined networks (SDN).

Involved PhD and PostDoc candidates