Glossary of Control Engineering Terms - T
Time Constant: Same as lag time.
Transfer Function: A convenient way of representing a dynamic system. Rather than working with differential equations, which is difficult even for simple systems, they are converted into the Laplace domain (also called s-domain, since the equations are transformed from written in t (time) to s, which is related to frequency) using a Laplace Transform. This turns the difficult to analyse integration and differentiation functions into multiply and divide functions, making system analysis very much simpler. A transfer function is the ratio of output signal to input signal, so that the output of a system can be calculated by multiplying the input signal by the transfer function. A transfer function usually has numerator and denominator polynomials in powers of s, with the numerator polynomial being of an equal or lower order than the denominator. A discrete time transfer function can also be derived, but this is based on the Z-Transform and is written in powers of z.
Transport Delay: This term is often used instead of dead time.
Tuning: The procedure of setting the controller gains to correctly work with a certain process.
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