The Wireless Control Network: Synthesis and Robustness
Network Control Systems
Controls and Control Theory
Digital Communications and Networking
Systems and Communications
We consider the problem of stabilizing a plant with a network of resource constrained wireless nodes. Traditional networked control schemes are designed with one of the nodes in the network acting as a dedicated controller, while the other nodes simply route information to and from the controller and the plant. We introduce the concept of a Wireless Control Network (WCN) where the entire network itself acts as the controller. Specifically, at each time-step, each node updates its internal state to be a linear combination of the states of the nodes in its neighborhood. We show that this causes the entire network to behave as a linear dynamical system, with sparsity constraints imposed by the network topology. We then provide a numerical design procedure to determine the appropriate linear combinations to be applied by each node so that the transmissions of the nodes closest to the actuators will stabilize the plant. We also show how our design procedure can be modified to maintain mean square stability under packet drops in the network.