Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Automatic control is the research area and theoretical base for mechanization and automation, employing methods from mathematics and engineering. A central concept is that of the system which is to be controlled, such as a rudder, propeller or an entire ballistic missile. The systems studied within automatic control are mostly the linear systems.
Automatic control systems are composed of three components:
- Sensor(s), which measure some physical state such as temperature or liquid level.
- Responder (s), which may be simple electrical or mechanical systems or complex special purpose digital controllers or general purpose computers.
- Actuator(s), which effect a response to the sensor(s) under the command of the responder, for example, by controlling a gas flow to a burner in a heating system or electricity to a motor in a refrigerator or pump.
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