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ELE3105 Computer Controlled Systems

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Engineering & Surveying
School or Department : Electrical, Electronic & Computing
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Paul Wen
Moderator: John Leis


Pre-requisite: ELE2103 or Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: GCNS or GCEN or GDNS or MEPR or MENS or METC


To apply control to any 'real' problem, it is first necessary to express the system to be controlled in mathematical terms. The 'state space' approach is taught both for expressing the system dynamics and for analysing stability both before and after feedback is applied. These concepts involve revision and extension of matrix manipulation and the solution of differential equations. By defining a time-step to be small, these state equations give a means of simulating the system and its controller for both linear and nonlinear cases. Many of the implementations of on-line control now involve a computer, which applies control actions at discrete intervals of time rather than continuously. It is shown that discrete-time state equations can be derived which have much in common with the continuous ones. Simulation does not then rely on a very small time step. The operator 'z' is first introduced with the meaning of 'next', resulting in a higher order difference equation to represent the system, then shown to be a parameter in the infinite series which is summed to form a 'z- transform'. It is shown that the discrete-time transfer function in z can be derived from the Laplace transform of the continuous system, with additional terms to represent the zero order hold of the DAC. Analysis of stability in terms of the roots of a characteristic equation are seen to parallel the continuous methods and techniques of pole assignment and root locus are also seen to correspond. Techniques are presented for synthesising transfer functions by means of a few lines of computer code, to make stable control possible for systems which would be unstable with simple feedback.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. design of a computer control feedback loop, including algorithms in software;
  2. analysis and simulation of control systems using state space methods; and
  3. design of systems in which the controllers have dynamics implemented in software.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Use of the Z-transform for analysis and design of computer control loops 15.00
2. Representation of discrete time dynamics in software 10.00
3. Discrete time state equations and stability analysis 10.00
4. Controller design and 'tuning' with controller dynamics, PID 15.00
5. Pole assignment, root locus and other methods in the complex plane 10.00
6. Derivation of state equations 10.00
7. Modelling and simulation by computer 10.00
8. Matrix analysis of continuous linear systems and controllers 15.00
9. Concepts of controllability and observability 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • ELE3105 Computer controlled systems: external study package, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba.
  • Nise, NS 2008, Control systems engineering, 5th edn, John Wiley & Sons Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
  • MATLAB Student Edition, Version 7.0 (or later).

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Dorf, RC & Bishop, RH 2008, Modern control systems, 11th edn, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • Ogata, K 1995, Discrete-Time Control Systems, 2nd edn, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
  • Ogata, K 2010, Modern control engineering, 5th edn, Pearson, Boston, MA.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 36.00
Examinations 2.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 65.00
Tutorials 26.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 200 20 16 Apr 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 10 01 Jun 2012
2 HOUR RESTRICTED EXAMINATION 700 70 End S1 (see note 1)

  1. Student Administration will advise students of the dates of their examinations during the semester.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade in a course a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    In a Restricted Examination, candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); a hand-held, battery-operated, non-programmable calculator (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination).

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Other requirements

  1. A basic familiarity with a programming language or MATLAB is assumed.