Graduate research

Distributed Control for Transient Stability in Microgrids

Active: 
yes

The power grid, as a whole, is composed of heterogeneous power generators and loads. In steady state, the frequency and voltage of the grid are constant, with all the power produced being consumed. If a mismatch between the produced and consumed power occurs, the system deviates from the synchronized steady state. During such transients, a control is required to maintain the network equilibrium state within a tight margin. The main goal here is transient stability. The transient stability characteristics can be improved by applying distributed communication and cooperative control. Distributed architectures are flexible, versatile, reliable and to a certain extent robust to failures of individual units. Endowing each power-generating unit with communication and computation capabilities turns it into an intelligent agent, which can implement multi-agent distributed control to achieve common goals of maintaining the voltage and frequency reference in spite of varying loads and possible failures of individual power generating units.

Your tasks

The student should work on the design of distributed control aimed at guaranteeing transient stability
(in terms of frequency) in power systems, particularly microgrids. Microgrids are technical systems
composed of diverse power generation units (often associated with renewable power sources), and
energy storage technologies which supply a group of local consumers. These systems can operate in
grid-connected mode, when connected to a functioning power-grid, and in islanded mode, when
disconnected from it. A distributed control should be designed assuming communication and physical
interconnection topology do not necessarily coincide. Finally, the candidate will assess the potential of
developed distributed control concepts and their impact on system’s stability during transients in the
direct simulative comparison with the uncontrolled use-case. A suitable candidate should have a solid
background in control theory and dynamical systems.

Further information

The work is jointly supervised by Czech Technical University in Prague (Kristian Hengster-Movric,
Ph.D, Advanced Algorithms for Control and Communication Group) and RWTH Aachen (Dr. -Ing.
Martina Josevski, Institute Automation of Complex Power Systems). Candidates participating in the
Double Degree Program (T.I.M.E) are especially encouraged to apply.

 

Contact person: 
Kristian Hengster...

Modeling of traffic queue discharge dynamics

Active: 
yes

The goal of the project is to develop a mathematical model (or models) of dynamics of discharge of a queue of road vehicles at intersections controlled by traffic lights. The model(s) will be used in later projects for design of feedback control algorithms for traffic lights, in particular the preemption algorithms based on communication between emergency vehicles (ambulance, police, fire trucks) and the traffic lights controller (see the diploma thesis by Vít Obrusník and his video from real traffic).

The existing infrastructure, in particular the induction loop detectors and road-side cameras are not accessible to us in this project, therefore our own instrumentation will have to be designed and implemented as the first step in the project. Most probably it will be based purely on digital cameras and subsequent image recognition. An expexted outcome is a set of recorded speed profilles/trajectories of all the vehicles in the queue after the traffic lights turn green. One or perhaps several digital cameras could be installed temporarily (for just a few minutes) at some chosen intersection to acquire the data/images/videos, from which the motion of individual vehicles, hence their speeds, will be extracted.

The recorded speed profiles will be analyzed and several basic vehicle-following models will be used to tried to "explain" the data. The work has a potential to result in a research publication because the currently known car-following models (such as Intelligent Driver Model) are mainly used in highways and it is not obvious is the dynamics at intersections differs only in the parameters or the whole structure.

The topic is suitable for a team project: finding a suitable spot (possibly a window on some higher floor of a building next to an intersection), selecting and setting up the camera(s), extracting the "features" from the recorded videos, car-following modeling.

The project will be co-supervised by prof. Karel Zimmerman from Center for Machine Perception (CMP).

Contact person: 
Zdeněk Hurák

Satellite formation cooperative control based on Lagrange Planetary Equations

Active: 
yes

For low-Earth orbiting satellite formations effects of other bodies can be disregarded; individual trajectories are Keplerian ellipses if no controls are applied. When the controls are acting the orbits change according to Lagrange Planetary Equations. Formulate the consensus problem appropriate for a chosen satellite formation and show cooperative stability. This would allow completely autonomous station keeping, excluding the need for ground stations.

Contact person: 
Kristian Hengster...

Satellite trajectories in the vicinity of tidally locked bodies

Active: 
yes

Investigate satellite trajectories in the system of tidally locked ''eyeball'' planets. Use the Hill's model to study the shape and stability of trajectories. Look into long-term effects of perturbations; is long-term orbit around either of the bodies stable? Find, if possible, compensating controls to stabilize an unstable orbit.

Contact person: 
Kristian Hengster...

Simulation of urban traffic in presence of high-priority vehicles

Active: 
yes

This student project is motivated by the needs of a larger industrial research project that the AA4CC group is running since January 2018 jointly with a small hi-tech Brno-located company focused on automation in public transportation. The focus of the proposed project is on numerical simulations of urban traffic using existing opensource simulation packages.

In particular, after getting familiar with the existing traffic simulation packages (SUMO, Veins, VSimRTI, ...) and selecting the most suitable one, the goals of the project are to analyze the possibilities to simulate higher-priority vehicles  (fire brigade vehicles, ambulances, police) and analyze the observable impact of presence of these vehicles on the other traffic in the city.

Later we will build on top of this competence when modeling the trafic after the introduction of the wireless V2I (=vehice-to-infrastructure) or V2X (=vehicle-to-everything) communication schemes. Will these relieve the traffic jams significantly? Will the communication-based control schemes be robust enought? Does mistuing of these present a threat to the traffic? These will be the questions for which we will want to find answers using the simulations.

A related desirable competence is to be able predict the time of arrival of the selected high-priority vehicle to a particular intersection. This is certainly dependent on the current traffic density and thus is highly random. Still, some prediction could be attemted using some popular (or perhaps even some less well-known) estimation and prediction schemes.

The student applying for this position should be interested in the topic of intelligent transportation.  He or she should be good at high-level programming and eager to learn the mathematics behing traffic modeling.

Contact person: 
Zdeněk Hurák

Dynamic plotter

Active: 
no

We are looking for a hardware platform suitable for presentation of trajectory optimization algorithms and your goal will be to build one. The platform will resemble a gantry crane or a pendulum on a cart with a variable length if you want. It will be attachable/detachable to a whiteboard and there will be a pen at the place where the hook normally is (or, at the end of the pendulum). The ultimate goal for the platform will be to draw a given curve on the whiteboard in the shortest possible time. Nevertheless, at first, we need you to build the platform for us. When we have the platform, you can also work on the control algorithms. If you like to build stuff this is an ideal project for you as you will have to design, make and assemble all the components (some inspiration can be taken from open-hardware designs of some 3D printers though).

Contact person: 
Martin Gurtner

Measuring position of micro-objects by machine learning algorithms

Active: 
no

You will be developing algorithms for a sensor measuring positions of micro-objects in 3D. The sensor mainly consists of an image sensor capturing diffraction patterns encoding positions of some micro-objects. We have algorithms which can extract the positions from the diffraction patterns, but they are slow. We have some ideas how to make the algorithms faster by implementing them on a graphical card (GPU) and/or by approximating them by methods from machine learning. Your goal will be to explore these possibilities.

This topic will fit a student who is more into coding and applied mathematics as the work is more on the software side.

Contact person: 
Martin Gurtner

Experimental platform for distributed temperature control along a slender metal rod

Active: 
no

The main objective of this project is to design, build and program an experimental platform for distributed control of a temperature profile of a slender metal rod. The one-meter long aluminium rod will be equipped with some twenty heaters (transistors) and temperature sensors (Dallas DS18B20). These will be used to close feedback control loops to track a prescribed temperature profile.

A straightforward (albeit not necessarily optimal) approach to the work is just to upgrade one already existing platform using new hardware (see the list of student projects below).

The electronics for the system is required in a modular form. Each I/O module (of several modules) will serve a few sensors and actuators. One version of the electronics is currently being developed and is nearly ready for production. The student can jump in and have his or her imprint in the last minute. Alternatively, he or she can adopt the design and take care of production.

All the I/O modules will be connected to a single Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi) computer through a digital interface (such as I2C). RPi computer will be connected to an operator's PC running MATLAB. The role of RPi will be to gather the sensor measurements, deliver them to PC and execute control commands received from PC. The communication between the RPi and PC will be over WiFi or Ethernet. Programming of RPi should be done in C and Java programming languages.

The project is offered as a topic for bachelor thesis and master thesis with additional extension to control.

Related student projects in the past:

1.) Chris Rapson. Spatially distributed control: heat conduction in a rod. MSc diploma thesis, CVUT in Prague, 2008. [Online]
2.) Václav Klemš. Laboratorní model pro výzkum prostorově distribuovaného řízení. Bakalářská práce, ČVUT v Praze, 2008. [Online]
3.) Petr Cincibus. Programové vybavení pro experimentální platformu pro distribuované řízení teploty. Bakalářská práce, ČVUT v Praze, 2012. [Online]

Contact person: 
Štefan Knotek

Building a laboratory syringe pump

Active: 
no

The goal of this short-term project is to build a simple syringe pump which would work both independently and under control from a PC. Inspiration can be found in numerous do-it-yourself (DIY) projects on the web, such as http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Syringe-Pump-Using-Stepper-Motor/, http://www.instructables.com/id/3D-Printed-Syringe-Pump-Rack/ or https://hackaday.io/project/1838-open-syringe-pump. The actual work can be as simple as selecting suitable components (stepper motor, motor driver, possibly some microcontroller, screws, nuts, ...), downloading a suitable 3D design, introducing minor design modifications (if any), doing the actual 3D printing (we own the popular Ultimaker II printer) and assembling the stuff.

It is expected that the project will take no more than one or two months, hence the project is suitable for a student who already did some do-it-youself projects (this is not an educational projects, we just need the stuff badly).

The work will be financially very nicely rewarded.

The need for such equipment comes from our research in the domain of microfluidics and electrokinetics, see the description at http://aa4cc.dce.fel.cvut.cz/content/distributed-feedback-micromanipulat.... The interested student might find this project a nice opportunity to step into that fascinating research domain combining engineering and science.

Contact person: 
Zdeněk Hurák
Contact person: 
Jiří Zemánek

Building a Rijke tube

Active: 
no

The task is to build a laboratory experimental platform known as Rijke tube, which is used for experiments in thermo-acoustics. One particular setup is described in a journal paper by Epperlein, J.P., B. Bamieh, and K.J. Astrom. “Thermoacoustics and the Rijke Tube: Experiments, Identification, and Modeling.” IEEE Control Systems 35, no. 2 (April 2015): 57–77. doi:10.1109/MCS.2014.2384971 (see also https://engineering.ucsb.edu/~bamieh/talks/1211_SpongFest.pdf for some workshop slides). The platform will be used for education and research experiments in modeling, analysis and control of spatially distributed systems.

 

Contact person: 
Zdeněk Hurák
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