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Capstone Course in ECET Program: Design and Implementation of PID Controller Using FPAA
Capstone course has become an essential part of our Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) program since opting for ABET accreditation recently. Capstone course projects allow students to exhibit their technical knowledge, project management, critical thinking and communication skills. These capstone projects are viewed as an instrument for outcomes assessment for accreditation. A number of capstone projects were completed in our ECET program in the control systems and renewable energy systems areas that used latest technological developments. In this paper, design, implementation and test results of a low cost Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controller for liquid level system using Field Programmable Analog Arrays (FPAA), developed as part of a capstone project, are described.
Field Programmable Analog Arrays (FPAA) can be used as analog equivalents to the Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) to implement complex analog signal processing functions. In one technology, Configurable Analog Blocks (CAB) made of switched capacitor arrays are used in FPAA , there are other technologies such as System-on-Chip (SoC) are recently developed for FPAA .
The PID controller is implemented using a commercially available FPAA  to control level of liquid in a tank. The controller accepts a set point voltage and an input voltage corresponding to the level of the liquid to produce an output voltage which controls the speed of a DC motor to pump the liquid into the tank from a reservoir. Using AnadigmDesigner® 2 software , the PID controller is first created and simulated with different values for proportional (KP), integral (KI) and derivative (KD) gains. Once the proper values are found, the program is downloaded to the FPAA. Using a control circuit, the FPAA voltage output is able to control the pump motor to change the liquid level. The implemented system is tested and its performance to control the level of liquid in the tank is evaluated for set point and other changes. The paper presents these test results in addition to control system design and implementation details of this capstone course project.
Bibliography  Anadigm, http://www.anadigm.com/, retrieved on January 2018.  S. George, et al., “A programmable and configurable mixed-mode FPAA SoC,” IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems, vol. 24 (6), June 2016, pp. 2253-2261.