Research Article  Open Access
Yanjun Zhang, Lu Wang, Jun Zhang, Jianbo Su, "Robust Observer Based Disturbance Rejection Control for EulerLagrange Systems", Mathematical Problems in Engineering, vol. 2016, Article ID 3839505, 13 pages, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/3839505
Robust Observer Based Disturbance Rejection Control for EulerLagrange Systems
Abstract
Robust disturbance rejection control methodology is proposed for EulerLagrange systems, and parameters optimization strategy for the observer is explored. First, the observer based disturbance rejection methodology is analyzed, based on which the disturbance rejection paradigm is proposed. Thus, a disturbance observer (DOB) with partial feedback linearization and a lowpass filter is proposed for nonlinear dynamic model under relaxed restrictions of the generalized disturbance. Then, the outerloop backstepping controller is designed for desired tracking performance. Considering that the parameters of DOB cannot be obtained directly based on Lyapunov stability analysis, parameter of DOB is optimized under standard control framework. By analyzing the influence of outerloop controller on the innerloop observer parameter, robust stability constraint is proposed to guarantee the robust stability of the closedloop system. Experiment on attitude tracking of an aircraft is carried out to show the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy.
1. Introduction
EulerLagrange systems widely exist in practice, such as manipulator, mobile robot, underwater vehicle, surface vessel, and aerial vehicle. Consequently, motion control of EulerLagrange systems has been widely explored in the past decades. Motion control systems usually work at unknown environment, and inevitably, they suffer from system uncertainties and external disturbances, which will affect the control performance or even make the system unstable [1]. To deal with this problem, numerous approaches have been proposed, such as sliding mode control [2–4], adaptive control [5–7], robust control [8–10], and intelligent control [11–13]. These control methods can more or less deal with the system uncertainties. However, facing the problems is still inevitable, such as chattering of sliding mode control, stability problem of adaptive control, conservative robust control, and convergence rate of weights in neural network and fuzzy system.
The effectiveness of disturbance observer (DOB) has been shown in many applications, such as humanoid robot control [14, 15], manipulator control [16–18], aircraft control [19, 20], optical disk control [21, 22], motor control [23, 24], and vibration control [25, 26]. Traditional DOB methodology, which is proposed based on linear system, cannot be used directly in nonlinear systems [27]. In [28], traditional linear DOB is applied for disturbance rejection of nonlinear system. However, only firstorder binomial coefficient typed lowpass filter is used for DOB implementation. The performance of the closedloop system cannot be improved effectively. Meanwhile, the optimization strategy of parameters is not investigated. Nonlinear DOB is proposed in [29, 30], which can be directly used for disturbance estimation in nonlinear systems. In this paper, we find that estimation effect of nonlinear DOB is the same as that of linear DOB with firstorder lowpass filter when a constant observer gain is selected. And asymptotic stability is guaranteed simply based on the assumption that the generalized disturbances and their firstorder derivatives are bounded and that the first derivatives go to zero in the steady state, which is not realistic in most conditions. Meanwhile, for a closedloop system, the parameters of innerloop observer depend on not only system uncertainties and measurement noise, but also the structure and parameter of outerloop controller. However, the existing works rarely discuss parameters optimization of the observer. The influence caused by outerloop controller is never explored in existing researches.
From the descriptions above, a robust DOB based disturbance rejection controller is proposed, and parameters optimization strategy is investigated. Nonlinear DOB and extended state observer (ESO) are first analyzed to show the essence of the disturbance estimation problem. Then, under relaxed restrictions of disturbance and system perturbation, a novel disturbance observer is proposed for nonlinear system. The observer consists of a feedback linearization compensator and a lowpass filter. The feedback linearization compensator is introduced to linearize the nonlinear dynamics into a linear part disturbed by the equivalent disturbance, whereas the lowpass filter is employed to estimate the equivalent disturbances. Then, a state feedback controller is presented for the nominal model to acquire desired performance. Stability of the overall closedloop system is analyzed based on Lyapunov theory. At last, the influence on DOB parameters optimization caused by structure and parameter of outerloop controller is analyzed. The robust stability constraint condition, which ensures the robust stability of the whole system, is proposed. Thus, the method can be employed to optimize the parameters of the DOB.
The main contributions of this paper are summarized as follows:(1)The disturbance rejection paradigm of the observer based disturbance rejection methodology is proposed.(2)With the proposed disturbance rejection paradigm, a novel observer, whose lowpass filter of its structure can be selected to be flexible, is proposed for nonlinear systems.(3)The parameters optimization method is investigated to make sure the designed control system can guarantee the robust stability of the closedloop system.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. In Section 2, a mechanical system model is established, based on which the disturbance rejection problem is formulated. In Section 3, DOB based control methodology is proposed, and parameters of DOB are optimized to guarantee the robust stability. In Section 4, attitude tracking task is carried out to show the effectiveness of the proposed strategy, followed by conclusions in Section 5.
2. System Model and Problem Statement
2.1. System Model
An EulerLagrange equation for the mechanical system is described aswhere and denote the generalized coordinates and velocities and and are the control input and external disturbance, respectively. represent the positive definite inertial matrix, represents the matrix of Coriolis and centrifugal forces, and represents the gravity term. The nonlinear functions , , and satisfy the following assumption.
Assumption 1. The unknown nonlinear functions , , and are continuously differentiable and locally Lipschitz.
By introducing the definitions (1) can be rewritten asAccording to the parameters perturbation, it is impossible to establish the system model accurately. By introducing the notations where subscript denotes the nominal value of the corresponding matrix and subscript denotes the part of perturbation, then, the dynamics can be described as follows:where , , and . is the perturbed term caused by the internal uncertainty, which is defined as
In practical applications, the consumption of the external disturbances is finite; that is, the external disturbance is bounded. Nevertheless, internal uncertainty usually depends on system state. Assume that the controller is defined as ; nonlinear function is continuously differentiable. Thus, from the definition of , we can also obtain that is continuously differentiable. From the above analysis, the following assumptions can be obtained.
Assumption 2. The external disturbance is bounded, where and represent the constant and timevarying component. The timevarying component satisfies .
Assumption 3. The internal uncertainties satisfy , where is classical function.
2.2. Problem Formulation
For the system model described in (5), the key point of the antidisturbance control methodology is the observer configuration. The control accuracy and robustness of the overall system are largely determined by the performance of observer. Here, several widely used observers are provided for analysis. Based on the disturbance rejection paradigm, we propose a novel observer structure and parameter optimization strategy for nonlinear systems.
2.2.1. Extended State Observer (ESO)
ESO is the most important part of the active disturbance rejection control (ADRC) [31]. Instead of identifying the plant dynamics offline, ESO can estimate the combined effect of plant dynamics and external disturbance in real time. However, ESO can be only used for the standard chained systems. Here, an ESO is designed aswhere and are positive constant to be selected such that is Hurwitz.
By substituting (5) into (7) and introducing the Laplace Transformation, we finally get the following equation:where is the Laplace operator.
2.2.2. Nonlinear Disturbance Observer (NDOB)
The NDOB has been widely used for nonlinear systems with uncertainties [30]. It can estimate the composite disturbances and compensate in the feedback controller. The NDOB for the dynamics of (5) is given aswhere .
From (9) we getThen, by introducing the Laplace Transformation, we finally get
In most applications, observer gain is usually selected as a positive constant.
2.2.3. Disturbance Rejection Paradigm
According to the analysis above, we find that the estimation of the observer can be obtained as the real composite disturbance passing through a lowpass filter. It can be summarized that the estimation effect of the observers should fulfill the following disturbance rejection paradigm:where is the composite disturbance which contains both external disturbances and equivalent internal disturbances. is a lowpass filter such that can converge to asymptotically.
For most researches on observer based control, the structure of the lowpass filter is usually fixed by the observer structure. Meanwhile, the parameters tuning usually relies on trial and error; rarely do researches focus on the point of how to optimize the observer parameters according to the property of system uncertainties, outerloop controller, measurement noise, and so forth. Hence, in this paper, a novel observer, whose lowpass filter can be selected to be flexible, is proposed for the nonlinear system. Particularly, the parameters optimization strategy is explored for nonlinear systems.
3. Controller Design and Parameter Optimization
3.1. Controller Design
The objective of controller design is that the observer is proposed to estimate the internal uncertainty and external disturbance , and thus the estimation is compensated in the closedloop control system. Then, feedback controller is designed to stabilize the system to the equilibrium point . The control structure is shown in Figure 1.
The innerloop observer is designed firstly. By introducing a feedback linearizationthe nonlinear system can be compensated aswhere is the composite disturbance.
Then, the observer is designed aswhere is a lowpass filter to be optimized.
According to (14) and (15), it can be obtained that ; that is, the observer satisfies the disturbance rejection paradigm in (12). In practical applications, and can be realized in statespace.
Then, the backstepping controller can be designed for the nominal system. Introduce the following notations:where is the pseudo controller to be designed, is a differentiable reference input.
From the definition of and , derivative of is described asThe pseudo controller is hence defined aswhere is a positive symmetric matrix.
Substituting (18) into (17) yieldsDefine a Lyapunov function ; its derivative is . Notice that the derivative of iswhere . According to the backstepping approach and observer output , the controller is finally obtained asFor the Lyapunov function , its timederivative satisfieswhere is disturbance estimating error of the observer. Assume that the estimating error of observer is the input of the above system; then the unforced system is exponentially stable at the equilibrium point.
3.2. Stability Analysis
Theorem 4. For the given secondorder mechanical system in (5), the external disturbances and equivalent internal uncertainties satisfy Assumptions 2 and 3. By adopting the observer in (15) and controller in (21), the control error of system states and estimation error of observer are locally uniformly ultimately bounded (UUB).
Proof. For the outerloop controller, by substituting and into (21), it can be obtained thatThen, the dynamics can be rewritten asFor the system state defined as , the following differential equation can be obtained:where For the innerloop observer, the statespace equation is established aswhere is the system state and and depend on the structure of lowpass filter . is minimum implementation, is controllable, and is observable. Since , is a Hurwitz matrix.
For the overall closedloop system, define the generalized state ; according to (25) and (27), the statespace equation can be obtained inSince and are both Hurwitz matrices, we can easily know that is Hurwitz according to its definition. That is, for any given positive definite symmetric matrix , there exists a positive definite symmetric matrix such that . The equilibrium point isFor , we have the following state equation:For the nonlinear function , there exists a compact set such that For the Lyapunov function defined as , its timederivative satisfiesConsequently, the control error of system states and estimation error of observer are locally UUB.
3.3. Parameters Optimization
Theorem 4 provides us with the parameter range such that the closedloop system is UUB. However, it is very hard to determine the parameters directly. In this section, a parameter optimization strategy of the lowpass filter guaranteeing the robust stability is proposed.
The parameter of the lowpass filter is influenced by system uncertainties, parameters of the outerloop controller, and measurement noise. First, the observer is transformed as
Then, (24) can be transformed as the following equivalent structure:The nominal model of equivalent system is
Then, we mainly analyze the system uncertainty of the equivalent system. The system uncertainty is defined asBy assuming that the system works in a compact set , the uncertainty can be linearized asSince , the internal uncertainty satisfies the following linear form:where
It is clear that the real plant differs if different and are selected. Define the set of equivalent systems as
At this time, the equivalent system can be represented as the form in Figure 2. For the set of equivalent systems and the nominal plant, define the upper bound of the system uncertainty aswhere scalar denote frequency. From small gain theory, the sufficient condition of robust stability is
Then, the optimization problem can be given aswhere is a stable weighting function that reflects frequency spectrum of disturbances at low frequencies. Weighting function satisfies , . It can be noticed that the selection of is influenced by system uncertainties and outerloop controller taken into account; meanwhile, the measurement noise should also be taken into account.
By defining the transfer function of virtual loop as , the filter design problem turns to be a standard problemwhere and and are the virtual controlled objective and controller, respectively. The standard statespace solution in control can be applied to get the optimal solution [32]. For a given virtual controlled objective , if we can acquire the optimal solution of the virtual controller , then the optimal filter can be obtained as
Remark 5. If the weighting function contains poles on the imaginary axis, the augmented controlled objective of equivalent control problem will correspondingly contain uncontrollable zeros on the imaginary axis. There is no optimal solution for this control problem. Thus, the weighting function should be transformed as follows:(1)For the poles at (2)For the conjugate poles on the imaginary axis is a positive constant sufficiently small.
4. Experimental Verification
In this section, attitude tracking of a quadrotor aircraft is implemented to verify the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy. The modified Rodrigues parameters (MRPs) are applied to represent the attitude [33]. The attitude tracking error model is described as follows:with the MRPs and angular velocity error defined aswhere , , and are MRPs, angular velocity, and the inertia matrix, respectively. is a nonsingular matrix defined in [33]. is known as inverse of , which is extracted as , and is known as the error of attitude transition matrix. The operator denotes the production of MRPs. The control input is defined as . Then, the rotational speeds of each propeller areand by assuming that the value of is smaller than that of , we finally get the matrix as The related parameter descriptions are shown in Table 1 [34].

4.1. Control System Design and Implementation
Assume that the nominal inertia is and inertia error as . Meanwhile, the nominal value of is given as , and its error is defined as . Then, we can use the feedback linearizationto reduce the system dynamics towhere the definitions of the operators and satisfy and operator is a vector that contains all the components of the symmetric square matrix. The external disturbance satisfies . The internal uncertainty is defined aswhere .
By substituting (53) into (54), we haveSince , , and are all bounded and control input can be rewritten into the form of state feedback, the internal uncertainty satisfies Assumption 3.
According to linearized model (53), the observer can be designed asand the backstepping controller is designed as
For the variable and the Lyapunov function defined as , we have
For the controller in (57), the parameters are selected as and ; the system dynamics and expression of uncertainty are given as follows:
From the analysis in Section 3.3, we get the nominal model of equivalent system aswhile the equivalent system is shown aswhere .
Consider that the structure of quadrotor is axially symmetric; the corresponding parameters of pitch and roll axes are the same. Thus, weighting function can be determined by pitch (roll) axis and yaw axis. The selection of should contain the system uncertainties with all the parameters perturbation. It is also required that the designed filter has at least −30 dB attenuation against measurement noise of gyroscope larger than 42 Hz. Figure 3 shows the frequency response of according to the parameters perturbation. It is illustrated that, for all the possible parameters, the weighting function satisfies , . Then, the optimized filter is obtained while :
4.2. Simulations
Numerical simulations are presented in MATLAB/Simulink to illustrate the efficacy of the proposed strategy. The simulation period is ms, the same as that in experiments. We consider the parameters and their uncertainties depicted in Table 1. The desired MRPs are given ashence, from the kinematics of MRPs, we getwhere is the timederivative of .
The external disturbances on the dynamics are as follows:which contains constant and sine components with both low and high frequencies.
The measurement noise is taken into account in this simulation. Here, we add the practical noise from the sensors to the feedback channel. The initial condition is , . Note that the controller parameters are and . Meanwhile, a nonlinear feedback controller in (57) without and a traditional DOB with firstorder filter are also carried out in this simulation to compare with the proposed strategy. The bandwidth of traditional DOB is , which is selected to be as large as possible to guarantee both disturbance rejection performance and robustness against measurement noise.
Figure 4 shows the tracking effect. It is illustrated that the nonlinear feedback controller without DOB cannot suppress the influence caused by internal uncertainties and external disturbances. The compound disturbances acting on system dynamics will cause an obvious tracking error. The approximation of compound disturbances in Figure 5 illustrates that the proposed DOB can estimate the compound disturbances successfully with noise of high frequency. Hence, with the compensation of the estimating disturbances, the proposed control strategy can enable the quadrotor to track the desired MRPs with better performance in Figure 4. Comparing with the proposed DOB, a traditional DOB is presented and the tracking errors of these two methods are shown in Figure 6. With the high frequency measurement noise, the bandwidth of traditional DOB cannot be selected to be larger than , since the high gain will enlarge the influence caused by measurement noise and diverge the control system. However, the proposed DOB has stronger suppression ability against disturbances with low frequency, as well as attenuation against noise with high frequency. Consequently, the tracking performance with the proposed DOB is better than that with traditional DOB. The control performances of these methods are given specifically in Table 2. The control structure with a DOB has higher tracking accuracy. The disturbances estimating error of the proposed robust DOB is less than that of traditional DOB.

(a)
(b)
(c)
(a) Approximation effect of
(b) Approximation effect of
(c) Approximation effect of
(a) Tracking error of
(b) Tracking error of
(c) Tracking error of
4.3. Experimental Results
In the experiment, the desired attitude is expressed as follows:and retains . and are acquired by (64).
It can be illustrated in (53) and (54) that even if there are no external disturbances, the existing internal uncertainties will also bring the system with an equivalent disturbance . In Figure 7, we find that, with the action of DOB, the tracking error caused by internal uncertainties can be suppressed successfully. At time of 75 and 90 seconds, external disturbances are exerted on the quadrotor. The proposed DOB can estimate and eliminate the disturbance quickly and accurately. Also, from the enlarged view of Figure 7, we find the convergence speed of the DOB is less than 2 seconds. The attitude error is expressed in Figure 8 and the comparison of the attitude tracking performances is shown in Table 3. The attitude errors are expressed in Figure 8 and the comparison of the attitude tracking performances is shown in Table 3. The control accuracy is much higher with the proposed DOB. Since there exists property of coupling among the 3 axes of the attitude, when we exert external disturbances on the axes of pitch or roll, it will in turn affect the other two axes. However, the proposed DOB can also suppress the influence caused by coupling property. Experimental results validate that the proposed control strategy can obtain strong disturbance rejection performance against external disturbances as well as good tracking performance. The robust stability of the closedloop system can be guaranteed based on the proposed DOB optimization strategy.

(a) Tracking effect of
(b) Tracking effect of
(c) Tracking effect of
5. Conclusions
This paper proposes a disturbance rejection control strategy for nonlinear systems with robust DOB. First, a DOB with partial feedback linearization and a lowpass filter is proposed for nonlinear dynamic model under relaxed restrictions of the generalized disturbance. Then, the outerloop backstepping controller is designed for desired tracking performance. By analyzing the influence of outer controller on the innerloop observer parameter, the robust stability constraint condition is proposed to guarantee the robust stability of the closedloop system. Experimental results on an aircraft show that the proposed strategy can increase the control accuracy effectively. The optimized DOB can eliminate the external disturbances effectively to increase the control accuracy. Meanwhile, the proposed parameters optimization strategy can guarantee the robust stability of the closedloop system.
Competing Interests
The authors declare that there are no competing interests regarding the publication of this paper.
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Copyright © 2016 Yanjun Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.