A simple nonlinear scheme for controlling a second-order rate-type servomotor is described. This scheme is referred to as “bang-bang” control since the input to the servomotor is made to “bang” from its maximum value in one direction to its maximum value in the other direction depending only on the sign of an error signal. This bang-bang system oscillates in a continuous high-frequency, low-amplitude limit cycle. The nature of this limit cycle is studied by the describing function approximation and by an exact method. The step and frequency response characteristics of the bang-bang system are discussed and compared with the characteristics of a simple linear system. It is shown that many aspects of the behavior of the bang-bang system can be predicted from rather simple considerations.

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