A History of Control Engineering 1800-1930 by Stuart Bennett

By Stuart Bennett

Dr. Bennett lines the transforming into understanding of the significance and the importance of the concept that of suggestions in engineering and treats intimately the technical advancements that contributed to this wisdom. There follows an account of the advance of steam and hydraulic servomechanisms and their program to the keep watch over of ships and airplane.

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The tenuous nature of the 'dynamic equilibrium' of the governor was made clear by Airy, who in 1840 wrote, 'Whenever the equilibrium of forces requires that a free body be brought to a determinate position, we must not expect that the body will remain steadily in that position of equilibrium, but that it will oscillate on both sides of that position, and t h a t . . 11 As was noted in the previous chapter, much effort was devoted to the elimination of offset, and the consequence of many of the modifications made was to increase the tendency to hunt.

59 It seems to have been obligatory, in France at least, for writers on governors to discuss in detail Foucault's inventions, mainly because of his eminence as a physicist, rather than for any intrinsic merit they might possess. Rolland (1867, 1868, 1870), 60 Romilly (1872), 6 1 Villarceau (1872) 6 2 and Marie (1878) 6 3 all devote considerable attention to Foucault's work. By 1880, however, interest in isochronous governors was declining. Dynamometric or load-sensing governors A perfect governor must not be called into action by a change in speed, but must feel the cause of such a change, and anticipate its effect, making the necessary adjustment before the threatened alteration in speed actually takes place.

87 * This quantity was often referred to as 'detent due to friction*. The regulation of prime movers 33 38 34 The regulation of prime movers An alternative way of increasing the force available to overcome friction is, of course, to increase the speed; but, since the effective moment arm is reduced when the speed of an unloaded governor is increased, the dead space remains unchanged. The effect can be seen in Fig. 14£, which shows a plot of a quantity called the 'capacity'* of the governor, and it can be seen how, as the speed is increased, the capacity decreases.

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