Summary: The Center for Control, Dynamical Systems, and Computation
University of California at Santa Barbara
Winter 2007 Seminar Series
The Human Reaction Time: What can Control do
to Overcome it?
DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Friday, March 2nd, 2007 3:00pm-4:00pm ESB 2001
An aircraft pilot or car driver is good at decisions that can wait for a second. A second may be a long
time, however, for fast dynamical processes as they occur for example, when an aircraft engine fails
or a car begins to skid or roll over.
The seminar will show how an automatic feedback system can assist a pilot or a driver to overcome
such dangerous situations. The basic idea is to compensate for rotational motions that have not been
commanded by the human operator.
First, a structurally robust control concept for car steering is introduced. It is then modified so that the
automatic control system assists the driver for only 0.5 to 1 seconds after a disturbance. The same
control concept is used to alleviate the load in the vertical fin of an Airbus after an engine-out.
Finally, car steering is used to avoid rollover. In all three cases the automatic control reacts faster and