IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, Vol.49, No.11, 1975-1990, 2004
Nonlinear control of feedforward systems with bounded signals
The stabilization problem for a class of nonlinear feedforward systems is solved using bounded control. It is shown that when the lower subsystem of the cascade is input-to-state stable and the upper subsystem not exponentially unstable, global asymptotic stability can be achieved via a simple static feedback having bounded amplitude that requires knowledge of the "upper" part of the state only. This is made possible by invoking the bounded real lemma and a generalization of the small gain theorem. Thus, stabilization is achieved with typical saturation functions, saturations of constant sign, or quantized control. Moreover, the problem of asymptotic stabilization of a stable linear system with bounded outputs is solved by means of dynamic feedback. Finally, a new class of stabilizing control laws for a chain of integrators with input saturation is proposed. Some robustness issues are also addressed and the theory is illustrated with examples on the stabilization of physical systems.