Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Thompson, Christopher David URN etd-06102012-040314 Title An analytical and experimental investigation of respiratory dynamics using P/D control and carbon dioxide feedback Degree Master of Science Department Mechanical Engineering Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Robertshaw, Harry H. Committee Chair Diller, Thomas E. Committee Member Leonard, Robert G. Committee Member Keywords
Date of Defense 1988-12-05 Availability restricted AbstractThis thesis addresses the problem of defining the control law for human respiration.
Seven different drivers have been identified as possibly having an input to the
respiratory controller. These seven represent a combination of feedforward and feedback
inputs arising from neural and humoral mechanisms.
Using the assumption that carbon dioxide concentrations in the arterial blood have the
strongest effect, a control equation with proportional and derivative components based on
this driver was evaluated. The methodology for the evaluation was to create a model of
the respiratory system incorporating the P/D controller, obtain experimental data of one
test subject's respiratory response to exercise, then compare model generated output with
experimental data, and adjust the parameters in the control equation to yield optimal
The usual practice of testing controller performance has been to apply single step loads
to a model and evaluate its response. A multi-step protocol was used here to provide a
better, more generalized test of controller performance. This thesis may represent the
first documented use of an approach of this type for evaluating respiratory controller
Application of a multi-step protocol revealed a non-linear controller was needed to keep
pace with system changes. Respiratory system operation was effectively managed using
a controller of the form:
VENTILATION = F(dCO2/dT,Q) + F(CO2,Q) + CONSTANT.
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