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A Non-Linear Computer for the Solution of Servomechanism Problems


Savant, Clement Joseph (1953) A Non-Linear Computer for the Solution of Servomechanism Problems. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/MV47-XY14.


This thesis describes the details of an electronic computer capable of generating arbitrary functions of one or more dependent variables. The design of the essential equipment is discussed, and operating instructions as well as complete circuit diagrams are included for easy reference of future researchers. The computer is used to generate arbitrary functions of an independent variable, and a wide range of functions is shown. Various classical nonlinear problems including Duffing's equation and Van der Pol's equation are solved on the computer and compared with known theory. A discussion, augmented by oscillograms, is presented on nonlinear damping. The computer then is used to improve the response of two feedback control systems. Both systems, which were taken from actual devices met in practice, have inherent nonlinearities. With the aid of the electronic computer the response of these systems is improved. In the solution of the servo system, an interesting nonlinear phenomenon was discovered which is discussed in detail.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:(Electrical Engineering and Engineering Science)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Minor Option:Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Pickering, William Hayward
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1953
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05122003-083454
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1727
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:13 May 2003
Last Modified:25 May 2023 21:40

Thesis Files

PDF (Savant_c_j_1953.pdf) - Final Version
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