Optimal control of nonlinear systems: a predictive control approach

A new nonlinear predictive control law for a class of multivariable nonlinear systems is presented in this paper. It is shown that the closed-loop dynamics under this nonlinear predictive controller explicitly depend on design parameters (prediction time and control order). The main features of this result are that an explicitly analytical form of the optimal predictive controller is given, on-line optimisation is not required, stability of the closed-loop system is guaranteed, the whole design procedure is transparent to designers and the resultant controller is easy to implement. By establishing the relationship between the design parameters and time-domain transient, it is shown that the design of an optimal generalised predictive controller to achieve desired time-domain specifications for nonlinear systems can be performed by looking up tables. The design procedure is illustrated by designing an autopilot for a missile.