Digital Control

Implementing Zero-Order Hold in LabVIEW
Controls theory is generally introduced to students through continuous transfer functions. Strictly speaking, this means that the real-world controllers would be implemented using only analog electronics. In most cases, however, it is not feasible to implement a controller using only analog electronics. Analog electronics are inherently prone to variations in their nominal values, and thus extensive fine-tuning is necessary for each implemented controller using the same nominal electronics. Furthermore, each pure analog circuit will be very susceptible to environmental changes, in particular changes in temperature and humidity. Therefore, most control systems are now being implemented on digital computers, i.e. usually using either a PC/laptop or a microprocessor. In this lab students will investigate the impact of implementing a continuous controller in a digital environment.
by Quanser Inc.

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This is lab 6 of 6 in the course, Control System Design and Analysis.


After completing this lab, students will be able to:
  1. Model a digital computer using an ideal sampler and zero-order hold
  2. Understand the effect of discretization on a controller.
  3. Assess stability of a discrete system from pole locations in the z-domain
  4. Use root-locus to design a proprotional controller for a discrete system.
  5. Design a discrete lead compensator using root-locus


  • Differential Equations or equivalent
  • Linear Algebra or equivalent
  • Dynamic Systems or equivalent
  • Basic LabVIEW Proficiency


LabVIEW is systems engineering software for applications that require test, measurement, and control with rapid access to hardware and data insights.


Engineering laboratory solution for project-based learning that combines instrumentation and embedded design with a web-driven experience, delivering a greater understanding of engineering fundamentals and system design.

Quanser Controls Board for NI ELVIS III

The Quanser Controls Application Board is a versatile servo system designed to teach the fundamentals of DC motor control, with an optional pendulum module to teach advanced topics in non-linear control.

Required Software

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  • NI ELVIS III Software Bundle (2018 or later)
    • LabVIEW (Requires license)
    • LabVIEW Real-Time Module (Requires license)
    • NI ELVIS III Toolkit
    • LabVIEW Control Design & Simulation (Requires License)

Required Hardware

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