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Software for Embedded Control Systems

Control engineers tend to see the development of a control system primarily in terms of the design of its control algorithms. However, control algorithms must be implemented in software. Software has now become the heart of modern control systems and it is increasingly the main factor driving their cost and reliability. This talk discusses control systems from a software point of view. It considers the technical challenges that arise in this field and the solutions that are being investigated at the Automatic Control Laboratory of ETH-Zurich. In particular, two problems are discussed. The first one concerns the need to create tools to bridge the gap between the control engineer (who specifies and designs the control system) and the software engineer (who specifies and develops the software). The second one concerns the problem of creating rapidly configurable software. The latter is important because most control systems are "one-of-a-kind" systems and hence configurability of existing software assets is the only way to achieve some degree of software reuse. The talk presents an approach based on framework and generative programming technology that addresses both problems. Its intention is to implement a "Matlab-like" approach to the configuration and generation of the entire control system code. The discussion will be illustrated with examples from the field of satellite control systems.
Type of Seminar:
Public Seminar
Dr. A. Pasetti
ETH Zurich, Automatic Control Institute, and P&P Software GmbH, Konstanz, Germany
Jun 18, 2003   17:15

ETH Zentrum, Gloriastrasse 35, Zurich, Building ETZ, Room E 6
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Biographical Sketch:
Alessandro Pasetti holds degrees in Electrical Engineering (Univ. of Trieste, 1986), Control Systems (Imperial College, 1987), Sociology (Univ. of Cambridge,1997), and a PhD in Software Engineering (Univ. of Konstanz, 2001). From 1989 to 1999, he worked as a satellite control engineer for Estec, the main R&D centre of the European Space Agency. He then took a position as research assistant at the University of Konstanz. In 2001 he founded and currently leads the company "P&P Software GmbH" to commercialize the application of advanced software techniques to control systems, in particular in the satellite domain. He also holds a part-time position as research assistant at the Automatic Control Laboratory of ETH-Zurich. In 2002, he published the book "Software Frameworks and Embedded Control Systems" (LNCS Vol 2231, Springer-Verlag).