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Open vs Closed Loop Control, etc

posted Jan 26, 2014, 6:39 PM by Trevor Scheck
Many people have asked for an explanation of what closed loop control is, and the difference between closed and open loop control. At this point, everyone in the class should have a good foundation of control principles--in fact we're waist deep in control theory right now! However, if you do not remember much from MAE 143A and 143B, there are a number of online articles you can read that do a fantastic job of describing basic control theory, Google is your friend. If you are unfamiliar with the terms feedback, set-point, block-diagram, gain, input, output, response, or algorithm... then trying to understand the homework on filtering and control will be very difficult.

Here are just a few Wikipedia entries (there's a lot more out there--use the power of the internet!):

I have also created another "work of art" in MS Paint for a discussion of open vs closed loop controls with some motivating questions too. NOTE: This is not a true block diagram, there are a couple technical inaccuracies that I made for ease of annotating, however the general idea is pretty clear. 

Hopefully this helps, please come by one of the TA's office hours if you still have any questions.