Feedback control of a plant requires three fundamental parts; a sensor, an actuator, and a computational device. While it is possible for the entire controller to consist of mechanical parts as in James Watt’s centrifugal governor or analog circuitry which filters and amplifies the input to excite the output, nearly all modern controlled systems utilize digital microcontrollers. At their heart is a microprocessor interfaced with the analog world through an analog-to-digital converter and a digital-to-analog converter. Distributed control systems consist of an array of microcontrollers which communicate to one another over some data bus. Cabling can be an impractical data bus for distributed control of large-scale systems. To this end, an RF transceiver can interface with the microcontroller and wirelessly transmit data over relatively long distances, i.e. about 100 m, to other similarly equipped microcontrollers. In order to compute, in real-time, the solutions to proposed distributed model predictive controllers, a node with greater computation capability is needed. To this end, this research aimed to develop a new wireless control platform, named the Martlet.


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