The use of wireless communications for real-time control applications poses several problems related to the comparatively low reliability of the communication channels. This paper is concerned with adaptive and predictive application-level strategies for ameliorating the effects of packet losses and burst errors in industrial sampled-data Distributed Control Systems (DCSs), which are implemented via one or more wireless and/or wired links, possibly spanning multiple hops. The paper describes an adaptive compensator that reconstructs the best estimates (in a least squares sense) of a sequence of one or more missing sensor node data packets in the controller node. At each sample time, the controller node calculates the current control, and a prediction of future controls to apply over a short time horizon; these controls are forwarded to the actuator node every sample time step. A simple design method for a digital Proportional Integral Derivative (PID)-like adaptive controller is also described for use in the controller node. Together these mechanisms give robustness to packet losses around the control loop; in addition, the majority of the computational overhead resides in the controller node. An implementation of the proposed techniques is applied to a case study using a Hardware in the Loop (HIL) test facility, and favorable results (in terms of both performance and computational overheads) are found when compared to an existing robust control method for a DCS experiencing artificially induced burst errors.
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