Variable Structure and Sliding Mode Control


Christopher Edwards

University of Exeter
United Kingdom

The Technical Committee on Variable Structure and Sliding Mode Control (TCVSSMC) is responsible for promoting, coordinating and organizing activities sponsored by the IEEE Control Systems Society in the areas of variable structure and sliding mode control. Variable structure systems are a class of systems whereby the control law is deliberately changed according to some defined rules which depend on the state or performance of the system. Sliding mode control is a particular type of variable structure system designed to drive and then constrain the system state to lie within a neighborhood of the switching function. These methods permit the dynamic behavior of the system to be tailored by the particular choice of switching function and exhibit inherent robustness properties. The methodology is inherently nonlinear and thus encompasses a range of mathematically challenging problems involving controller and observer design as well as issues of sampling and implementation. This is coupled with a large number of successful industrial application studies involving automatic flight control, control of electric motors, chemical processes, helicopter stability augmentation systems, space systems and robots. The domain of the TCVSSMC is thus very focused.

Technical Committee Activities

The core business of TCVSSMC involves

  1. Organizing the VSS workshops where the location is determined by a vote of the Executive Committee Members.
  2. Organizing the VSS Schools.
  3. Special sessions and pre-conference workshops are organized by TC members at the most prestigious control conferences such sponsored by IEEE CSS.
  4. Publishing special issues in emergent areas of variable structure and sliding mode control in journals.
  5. Facilitating collaborative research activity across the community by developing joint projects, publications and arranging visits and lectures by visiting scientists across the community.

The TCVSSMC operates with an Executive Committee who organise events on behalf of the TC members.