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The Second Electronic Revolution (It's All About Control)

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1 Author(s)
Terry Ericsen ; Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA, USA

Systems for ships, offshore platforms, chemical plants, foundries, and utilities are rapidly changing as a result of the second electronic revolution. The first revolution was with integrated circuits which gave us the microprocessor, PCs, cell phones, and MP3 players. The second electronic revolution started with power electronics, which give us motor controllers, switching power supplies, hybrid cars, and electric ships. Just as the first electronic revolution changed our concepts of information, the second electronic revolution is redefining control. This paper discusses these changes and the opportunities enabled by new technologies and levels of control. Most notably, this paper provides a logical argument for future controller abilities to control any system to near perfection-accurately, precisely, reliably, and safely. This paper also proposes the use of building block concepts with modeling and simulation to create new tools and methods for designing and building power systems.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 5 )