Nonlinear Control and Servo Systems

FRTN05/FRTN05F Olinjär reglering och servosystem

Syllabus     Schedule  


In real life, most control systems are nonlinear in one aspect or the other (nonlinear dynamics in, e.g., robotics, actuation saturations, sensor nonlinearities, etc). While control designed using linear systems tools may continue to work well in many nonlinear systems, in some situations nonlinear effects should be taken into account in order to get a stable control system. Moreover, the performance and robustness may be significantly improved by considering the nonlinear aspects of the system. In the course Nonlinear Control and Servo Systems (FRTN05) we study ordinary nonlinearities and how to handle those, treat different analysis methods and learn how to do control synthesis for nonlinear systems, both in theory and practise. Brief course information (in Swedish) is available.



For questions regarding the exam on Jan 10, or to see your exam, please contact exam responsible

Exam Jan 10, 2017

There will be an extra exercise/consultation session on Monday, Jan 9, 13.15-14.15 in the seminar room of Automatic Control LTH.


Anders Rantzer, (course responsible) M-building (fifth floor, room 5143) 046 - 222 87 83

Teaching assistants 

Martin Karlsson, M-building (second floor), 046 - 222 87 60
Mattias Fält, M-building (second floor), 046 - 222 08 47


Recommended textbook is
  • Glad, T., and Ljung,L., "Reglerteori: Flervariabla och olinjära metoder" (2003, Studentlitteratur, Lund, ISBN 9-14-403003-7) or the English translation "Control Theory: Multivariable and Nonlinear Methods", 2000, Taylor & Francis Ltd, ISBN 0-74-840878-9. Chapter 11-16,18. This book covers MPC and Optimal control which are not covered in the other text book. The first part of this book (Ch. 1-10) covers linear control theory and is a good extra for the course Multivariable Control - (FRTN10 Flervariabel reglering)
An alternative reference is
  • Khalil, H. K., Nonlinear Systems (3rd ed., 2002, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-122740-8). This is a good textbook on nonlinear control systems, at a bit more advanced level than the course.

Handouts: Lecture notes and extra material will be handed out and posted on this website.

Lectures and Exercises

Lectures are held in E:C. Lectures on Mondays are held at 13.15-15.00, other days at 08.15-10.00.

The exercises are held Tuesdays 15.15-17.00 and Wednesdays 15:15-17:00 in the seminar room of the Automatic Control Department,  M:2112B, second floor of the M-building. Students are encouraged to bring their own laptop in order to get assistance with the computer exercises. See Exercise schedule and problem set.

The lecture slides will be handed out during the lectures. Below you find last edition's versions to be replaced when the lecture is given (indicated by red or green bullet).

Monday 31/10: L1: Introduction. Typical nonlinear problems and phenomena. Models.
Wednesday 2/11: L2: Simulation in Simulink. Linearization. Stability 
Friday 4/11: L3: Phase-plane analysis. Classification of singular points. Stability of periodic solutions. 

Monday 7/11: L4: Lyapunov methods. 
Wednesday 9/11: L5: Stability theory. Small gain theorem. Circle criteria. Passivity. 
Friday 11/11: L6: Describing function analysis.

Monday 14/11: L7: Saturation and antiwindup. Friction.
Wednesday 16/11: L8: Compensation for backlash and quantization

Reading material on: antiwindup and friction

Friday 25/11: L9: Lyapunov-based design and sliding modes.

Lab1: Deadzone-compensation for an air throttle in a car.

Monday 28/11: L10: Optimal control: The Maximum Principle, examples.
Wednesday 30/11:L11: Optimal control (cont'd).

D. Liberzon, Calculus of variations and optimal control theory: A Coincise Introduction, Princeton University Press, 2012.

Lab2 : Pendulum swing-up

Monday 5/12: L12: Dynamic programming.
Wednesday 7/12: L13: Internal model control. Model predictive control. Nonlinear observers. Gain scheduling.
Thursday 8/12: L14: Course summary.

Lab 3: Optimal control of pendulum an a cart.


Exercises and Solutions

Exercise schedule and problem set


 Lab1: Deadzone-compensation for an air throttle in a car (nonlinear compensation and describing function analysis) (Sign-up starts November 7) If all 48 slots have already been booked, please email the lab responsible ( and the course responsible ( immediately and we will find a suitable arrangement. 
 Lab2: Pendulum swing-up (Sign-up starts November 14) If all 48 slots have already been booked, please email the lab responsible ( and the course responsible ( immediately and we will find a suitable arrangement. 
 Lab3: Pendulum on a cart. (Sign-up starts November 21) If all 48 slots have already been booked, please email the lab responsible ( and the course responsible ( immediately and we will find a suitable arrangement. 



Matlab and Simulink are extensively used in the course. Graphical user interfaces called pplane and dfield for phase-plane analysis in Matlab are available for educational purposes from Matlab is available for home computers.

Put the file in your working directory, start Matlab and type "pplane8" or "dfield8", respectively.

If you use MATLAB 2014b and onwards, use the following fixed version: pplane8.m and dfield8.m.
This version does not support "Plote while computing", therefore you may turn it off under "Options" to speed up the plotting.

Old Exams

May 28, 2010
March 7, 2012 
April 5, 2013
Mar 12, 2014
Jan 13, 2016